Laura Winthrop Abbot serves as Senior Advisor in the Secretary’s Office of Global Partnerships at the U.S. Department of State. In this capacity, she assists with establishing and managing public-private partnerships, and acts as a key liaison between private sector partners and the State Department.
Until May 2016, Laura was Senior Vice President of the U.S.-Japan Council in Washington, DC. From 2011-2015, Laura served in Tokyo as the founding Executive Director of the TOMODACHI Initiative, a public-private partnership led by the U.S.-Japan Council and the U.S. Department of State, to provide exchange and leadership development opportunities to young Japanese and Americans. Her leadership on this initiative grew out of the eight months she spent as a Council on Foreign Relations-Hitachi Fellow at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo in the aftermath of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami of 2011.
From 2009-2011, Laura was a Professional Staff Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, working on issues related to international development and foreign assistance. Prior to that, Laura spent five years at the international business risk consultancy, Control Risks,where, as Vice President based in London and New York, she managed political risk and crisis management projects in dozens of countries across five continents. From 2000-2002, Laura was Special Assistant to the President of the Council on Foreign Relations. She holds an M.Phil in International Relations from Cambridge University and a B.A. magna cum laude from Harvard University. She also serves on the Board of Directors of All Hands Volunteers, a disaster relief non-profit.