Laurel Strategies’ global network includes senior leaders experienced in communications, trade, business, policy, politics, public relations and finance. Our team’s specialities span a wide variety of geographies, industries, and extend deep into the public, private and civil society sectors.
Dafna Tapiero, Co-Founder
Dafna Tapiero is the Co-Founder of Laurel Strategies. In addition to managing the firm, Tapiero specializes in private equity, alternatives, technology, and family office clients, among others. She focuses on strategy, financial communications, raising the profiles of leaders, crisis management, philanthropy, as well as ESG and sustainable investment.
Previously, for 20 years she served as an official at the World Bank Group, and its International Finance Corporation working on privatization in the Former Soviet Union. Following the Asian Financial Crisis, she founded and managed the Financial Sector Reform and Strengthening (FIRST) Initiative, a US$ 66 million global fund established to provide direct support to countries in reforming and developing their financial systems. At IFC, she established a corporate responsibility initiative for private sector investors, primarily in large infrastructure, high impact sectors like Oil, Gas and Mining. In 2014, she was on assignment as Senior Advisor on Innovative Financing in the Office of the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme, forging partnerships and financing mechanisms to build resilience and increased preparedness for climate-induced natural disasters.
Tapiero proudly serves as an Advisory Director of Carnegie Hall and as a Director of Fund II Foundation. She is a Member of the Jane Goodall Legacy Foundation’s Council for Hope and a Trustee of the Lauer Philanthropic Foundation.
Tapiero received an MA from Johns Hopkins’ School of International Studies and a BA from Johns Hopkins.
Erin Celentano, Senior Director
Erin Celentano is a Senior Director at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Erin has extensive experience, internationally and domestically, working with a range of media to develop multilayer strategic communications. At Laurel, Erin has led work streams across clients in the sports, technology, and retail industries, and has deep experience driving strategic communications for a professional sports league.
Prior to Laurel, Erin spent a number of years living abroad in New Zealand where she led coverage of national sports and managed key communications, marketing, and sponsorship campaigns for the country’s second largest newspaper, as well as a family of national radio stations. She also served as the Director, Marketing Communications and Community Development, in the Publications Division of the American Chemical Society (ACS Publications), the largest scientific society and one of the world’s top scholarly publishers. She also previously led digital marketing efforts for the Brookings Institution Press.
Erin is a member of the Society for Scholarly Publishing; International Association of Scientific, Technical, and Medical Publishers; Association of American Publishers; and the American Marketing Association and Public Relations Society of America.
Erin received a Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a Master’s in Publishing from The George Washington University.
H.E. Iván Duque Márquez, Senior Global Strategic Advisor
H.E. Iván Duque Márquez is a recognized global leader and expert on climate action, international development, and geopolitical analysis. He is a Transformational Leadership Fellow at the Oxford University Blavatnik School of Government, a Distinguished Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center, and an International Leadership Fellow at the Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom at Florida International University.
Duque Márquez served as President of Colombia from 2018 to 2022, during which time he led Colombia to achieve its highest historical economic growth and the most ambitious climate action policy framework in the Americas. Amid the unprecedented COVID-19 global pandemic, he led the country in creating the most robust social safety net in its history and becoming the leading country in Latin America in COVID-19 management.
Duque Márquez is a decorated leader and recipient of multiple international awards including the National Geographic Planetary Leadership Award, the Theodore Roosevelt Global Conservation Award, the Concordia Leadership Award, and the Council of the Americas Global Leadership Award. He is also the Chairman of the Concordia Amazon Initiative, whose objective is to raise awareness around the intricate link between the health of the Amazon and the health of the planet, and the kinds of commitments the private sector can make to preserve the rainforest.
He is recognized as one of the most impactful speakers and leaders in Latin America. He is the author of more than 12 books and serves on a number of boards.
Duque Márquez is married to María Juliana Ruiz, with whom he shares three children. He holds a Master in Policy Management from Georgetown University, a Master in International Legal Studies from American University, a JD in Universidad Sergio Arboleda with a Major in Philosophy. He also holds an honorary Doctorate in Economics from Yonsei University in South Korea.
David Barber, Senior Advisor
David is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies, providing unique perspectives and advice in the food and hospitality sectors, among others. David is co-owner of Blue Hill–a working farm, restaurant, and consulting company supporting agriculture that positively contributes to the world’s food system. The 138-acre farm in Great Barrington, Massachusetts has been in the Barber family for four generations. Blue Hill restaurant has locations in Greenwich Village and Pocantico Hills, New York.
David is a founding partner of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Westchester County. This unique nonprofit advances community and ecologically based food production-demonstrating alternative ways to farm and eat. Stone Barns Center works in association with Blue Hill’s second restaurant located on the campus.
Blue Hill (NYC) received the James Beard Outstanding Restaurant Award in 2013. Blue Hill at Stone Barns received the same honor in 2015 and was added to the San Pellegrino World 50 list.
David is an early stage investor in the food and hospitality space through Almanac Investments and advisor to S2G Ventures and Acre Investments. He serves on the Board of BlueCart Corp, and is a Trustee for Stone Barns Center, Caramoor Center for the Arts and the Collegiate School in New York City.
Mark Bezos, Senior Advisor
Mark Bezos, Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies, is the founder of DemoMode Marketing a branding and customer experience consultancy. Previously, Bezos served as the head of communications and events at the Robin Hood Foundation in New York City. Mark has held senior positions at global advertising agencies developing branding efforts for numerous Fortune 100 companies. Mark is the Captain of a volunteer fire company and delivered a talk on the subject at the main TED conference in 2011.
Sam Caywood, Senior Director
Sam Caywood is a Senior Director at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Sam leads and provides support to clients on media relations, thought leadership and persuasive writing, and overall communication strategy. He has also served on the leadership team to introduce an AI for enterprise company to the public, including appearances across print and broadcast media. His writings have been published in outlets including Fortune and Fast Company magazines.
Sam previously worked on statewide campaigns in Virginia and North Carolina, and as an Assistant Analyst at Hart Research Associates and an intern at SKDKnickerbocker.
Sam holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Policy from Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy.
Adam Chassin, Senior Advisor
Adam is an investor and advisor to technology companies and has spent over 15 years in senior executive roles at leading technology companies in both the US and Europe. As the Head of Business for Uber in Europe, Adam was responsible for all partnerships and investments that supported Uber’s growth In Europe’s major markets. Adam established groundbreaking partnerships with leading financial institutions, credit card networks, mobile carriers, rail companies and airlines to drive Uber’s growth while also establishing partnerships with the largest European automakers to secure access to vehicles at affordable prices for Uber drivers.
Prior to Uber, Adam was the Head of Strategic Business Development at Amazon where he worked across the entire portfolio of Amazon businesses. Adam led the team responsible for the evaluation and incubation of new businesses for Amazon to enter, oversaw the growth of Amazon Prime via strategic partnerships, scaled the distribution of the Amazon Video service via third parties, created the go to market strategy for the acquisition of streaming rights for live sports, as well as helped build out the offering for the Prime Now two-hour delivery service.
Prior to Amazon, Adam held various senior business positions at Yahoo in silicon valley and was a transactional attorney at AOL prior to that. Adam began his career as a banker and M&A lawyer on wall street. He graduated magna cum laude with highest honors from Harvard University and has a JD from the University of Virginia.
Franck Daphnis, Senior Advisor
Franck Daphnis is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies and a recognized leader in development finance, bringing his housing finance, microfinance, urban development, housing and infrastructure rehabilitation, municipal services cost recovery, and urban environmental management expertise to Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and beyond. He has authored and edited two books on housing finance, including the seminal work Housing Microfinance: a Guide to Practice (Kumarian Press, January 2004). He is the President and CEO of Development Innovations Group.
Emal Dusst, Senior Advisor
Emal Dusst brings expertise to Laurel Strategies in the field of education. Previously, Emal was Head of Strategy & Chief of Staff to the Founder, Chairman & CEO of Laureate Education, a global education company and a B Corp with a presence in 25 countries. Prior to Laureate, he was a Director focused on Strategy & M&A at Saint-Gobain, a $60 billion French industrial conglomerate, where he was also on the board of Corporate Ventures group. Emal has also worked in investment banking and private equity. Emal serves on the Board of Coursera.
Emal is on the Board of Trustees of the American University of Afghanistan where he also serves as the Chair of the Audit, Compliance & Risk Management Committee. He is on the Advisory Board of Working Metrics, a workforce analytics company in partnership with the Aspen Institute. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the World Affairs Council in D.C. and on the Board of Advisors of ReCoded, a non-profit coding school for refugees in the Middle East funded by the UN. Additionally, he is a member of the Robert S. Brookings Society at the Brookings Institution.
Emal has published a book and writes for The Brookings Institution on global education trends. Emal holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from UCLA and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Lauren Fernandez, Director of Operations
Lauren Fernandez is the Director of Operations at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. At Laurel, Lauren is responsible for internal management across the firm and leads on the firm’s salon offerings and co-leads its event planning arm.
Lauren has experience managing operational workflow for a number of clients, including private equity, real estate, and technology clients. In addition, she has experience across all levels of design, execution, distribution, and amplification for digital media, including website creation and refresh, graphic design, email campaigns, podcasts and radio shows, and social media campaigns. Before Laurel, Lauren worked with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Architect of the U.S. Capitol.
Lauren is a member of JUST Capital’s JUSTGen network, whose mission is to create a community of changemakers dedicated to furthering stakeholder capitalism and putting purpose-driven, values-based leadership into practice, serving on the organization’s Core Council.
Lauren graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from The George Washington University with a minor in American Studies.
David M. Gruppo, Senior Advisor
After a career in investment banking and technology, David founded Indigo Capital Management & Strategy in 2015 to provide capital and advice to early-stage companies, primarily in the technology sector. As a Google Ideas Fellow in 2015 and 2016, David was an entrepreneur-in-residence to Alphabet’s in-house think tank.
Between June 2010 and January 2015, David was a Managing Director and Head of Latin America Corporate and Investment Banking for the Japanese banking group, MUFG, one of the largest financial institutions in the world. David was hired to develop and execute a strategy for the Bank to expand its business in Latin America. Under David’s leadership, revenues increased approximately eight-fold, the portfolio grew to approximately $20 billion, net revenues to over $250 million, and the team to over 90 professionals based in NY and seven regional offices in Latin America.
David joined MUFG from IBM where for 8 years he was involved in corporate strategy and business development for the healthcare and telecom industries, among other responsibilities.
Prior to IBM, he spent over 12 years in investment banking at Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Santander, building those firms’ businesses in Latin America. Earlier in his career, David was named a Henry Luce Scholar and spent a year working in Tokyo as a legislative assistant for a member of the Japanese Diet.
David began his career as a corporate lawyer with Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett in New York. David earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Wesleyan University, and a Juris Doctor from Georgetown University. He has lived in Argentina, Brazil, France, and Japan and speaks Spanish, Portuguese, French, and English. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and has Series 79, 24, and 63 Finra licenses.
David is a life member of The Council on Foreign Relations.
Eva Hauser, Executive Director, External Affairs
Eva Hauser is the Executive Director of External Affairs at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. She has extensive experience supporting executives in the public and private sectors, managing and advising on key priorities and coordinating logistics and preparation for principals and their staff. She co-leads the firm’s event planning arm and frequently leads strategy and on-the-ground execution at key global convenings and industry events, including the World Economic Forum.
Eva previously served as Executive Assistant at Brunswick Group where she supported multiple Partners, including the Global Lead for the firm’s Digital practice. She was previously Scheduler and Legislative Correspondent for Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV).
Eva received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Political Science from Colorado College.
Ankur Jain, Senior Advisor
Ankur Jain is an entrepreneur and investor, who is the founder and CEO of Bilt Rewards, the first loyalty program that allows you to earn points on rent. Jain has grown the company to a valuation of $1.5 billion since its launch in June 2021.
Prior to launching Bilt, Jain was the founder and CEO of Kairos, a venture studio for young entrepreneurs that helped launch and grow its partner companies to over $6.5bn, solving problems from housing to healthcare.
Before joining Kairos in May 2017, Jain was the Chief Product Officer at Tinder. He joined Tinder after it acquired his company, Humin, where he served as Founder & CEO.
Jain has been recognized for a variety of achievements. In 2017, he was named a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum. In 2011, Inc. magazine named Jain the “Best Connected 21-Year-Old in the World” and awarded him “30 Under 30”. In 2012, he was named “30 under 30: Solution Broker” by the Christian Science Monitor. In 2015, Forbes also named Jain to their “30 under 30” list.
Matt Kennedy, Senior Advisor
Matt Kennedy is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies and a founder of Kennedy Merchant Partners (KMP) and has worked in over 20 countries on six continents. Previously, Matt served in senior roles in the Obama Administration at the Department of Commerce, Department of the Treasury and the White House. He is a board member of the John F. Kennedy Library and the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.
Delila Khaled, Senior Advisor
Delila Khaled, Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies, brings 25 years of experience as an executive manager, business owner, and technical expert in the international development and foreign policy arena. She has worked with governments, NGOs, and the private sector in more than 20 countries across Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Ms. Khaled is an urban development specialist with diverse, cross-sectoral expertise in the design and implementation of multi-million dollar programs focusing in development finance and economic growth, inclusive governance and municipal service delivery, as well as gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.
Deborah Lehr, Senior Advisor
Deborah Lehr, Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies, serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Basilinna, a strategic business consulting firm focused on China and the Middle East. In addition, Deborah is a Senior Fellow of the Paulson Institute, a think tank founded by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson located at the University of Chicago. Deborah previously managed a successful consulting business, representing Western and Chinese companies such as Tory Burch, Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, and Boeing. She was also President of Stonebridge China, a global consulting firm, overseeing offices in Beijing and Shanghai, and a partner at Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, a top global law firm. Deborah also served in the US Government as a lead negotiator at the Office of the US Trade Representative for China’s WTO accession, and a Director of Asian Affairs at the National Security Council. She is a founder and Chairman of the Antiquities Coalition, which combats the looting of cultural heritage by organized crime and terrorists, with a focus on the Middle East.
Jake Maccoby, Senior Advisor
Jake Maccoby is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Jake is a speechwriter and communications strategist with deep experience in crafting keynote speeches, commencement addresses, and strategic communications support for leaders across the public and private domains.
Following four years working in Massachusetts state government and in public affairs at SKDKnickerbocker, Jake served on President Barack Obama’s debate preparation team during the 2012 presidential campaign. After the election, Jake worked at the U.S. Department of Justice as Chief Speechwriter and Strategic Communications Advisor for Attorney General Eric Holder, and later for Attorney General Loretta Lynch. He was a policy advisor on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, participating in debate preparation and speechwriting, and developed and led a media company focused around former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara – with properties in podcasts, text, video, and live events – before founding JDMaccoby Strategies in 2018.
Today, Jake works with national nonprofit, corporate, and political clients, advises communicators, and assists public figures across the country. He has appeared regularly on cable news channels including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, HLN, and CNBC.
Jake received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Tufts University.
Robert C. McNally, Senior Advisor
Robert C. McNally is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies and the founder and President of The Rapidan Group, an independent energy consulting and market advisory firm, and has served in senior financial market and official posts spanning economic, security, and environmental aspects of energy market analysis, strategy, and policymaking. Under President George W. Bush, Robert served as the top international and domestic energy adviser on the White House staff, holding the posts of Special Assistant to the President on the National Economic Council and, in 2003, Senior Director for International Energy on the National Security Council.
Michael Melamed, Executive Vice President
Michael Melamed is Executive Vice President at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. He has extensive domestic and international experience consulting leaders, businesses and organizations on the development and implementation of new initiatives, products, and ideas.
Michael was one of Laurel’s first hires and focuses on advising clients in private equity, financial services and technology sectors. He has served the leadership teams for clients ranging from global private equity firms and their portfolio companies to newly launched MMA promotions on their strategy, messaging and positioning. Michael has managed crisis communications strategies, CEO and leadership transitions, the launch of new funds and strategies, deal announcements, individual and organizational profiles, and internal and investor communications strategies.
Prior to Laurel, Michael worked in the World Bank’s education practice, helping to expand the reach of the Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) initiative across global development and education communities. Before joining the Bank, Michael worked with the global corporate affairs team at Anheuser-Busch InBev on their community initiatives.
He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Macalester College and his Master of Arts degree in International Relations and Economics from Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS).
Michael is fluent in Spanish.
Jake Melville, Director
Jake Melville is a Director at Laurel Strategies, working within the firm’s London-based research team. Jake has extensive experience in speechwriting and executive communication strategy, as well as a deep understanding of the principles of cross-cultural communication. He also supports clients across research and analysis workstreams, creating bespoke white papers, geopolitical analysis, and holistic overviews of today’s biggest technology, AI, trade, digital trade, and foreign policy issues.
Previously, Jake served as the Speechwriter and Special Assistant to the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to the United States, where he helped shape and develop the Ambassador’s messaging with the US public, media, and government counterparts, as well as advised on the Embassy’s overall communications strategy. He also previously taught English in South Korea and contributed to a local English-language magazine. He also worked as a Speechwriting Associate at West Wing Writers.
Jake received both his Master of Arts and Bachelor of Arts degrees in Global Communications and International Affairs from The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.
Nelson Ortiz, Senior Advisor
Nelson Ortiz, Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies, has more than three decades of leadership experience in the financial services and private equity arenas, and is recognized as one of Latin America’s most successful investors and respected thinkers on regional and global economic policy. Nelson is founding partner of Incus Capital, a private equity fund specializing in distressed assets in Spain and Portugal, with more than 500 million euros in assets under management. He is also a founding partner of Fondo de Valores Inmobiliarios, a real estate fund that manages over $400 million in assets in Latin America, and serves as an advisor to Oaktree, a California-based fund with over $80 billion in assets under management. Between 2000 and 2007, Nelson was president of the Caracas Stock Exchange, where he oversaw the performance and operations of one of Latin America’s largest exchanges in terms of daily trading volume and market capitalization. Nelson has on two occasions served as Technical Secretary for Venezuela’s Economic Cabinet. He has also been a member of the President of the Inter-American Development Bank’s Advisory Board for Private Sector Issues, and worked extensively with the Latin American chapter of the World Economic Forum.
Dan Prieto, Senior Advisor
Daniel B. Prieto is Director for Cybersecurity Policy at the National Security Council since September 2014.
He served as the Director of Cybersecurity and Technology, and as the Director of the Defense Industrial Base Cybersecurity and Information Assurance (DIB CS/IA) Program in the Office of the Department of Defense Chief Information Officer (DoD CIO).
Dan previously served as a vice president for IBM Global Business Services, Public Sector, in Washington, D.C. from 2007 to 2013. In that role, he led a strategy consulting practice and directed thought leadership on a range of issues including information sharing, critical infrastructure protection, cybersecurity, and IT transformation. Dan also served as IBM’s senior executive for work in Afghanistan with the DoD to identify, train, and develop Afghan technology and business entrepreneurs in Herat and Kabul.
Dan has been published widely on national and homeland security issues. He holds an M.A. degree in international economics and international law from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington D.C., and a B.A. from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.
Dan Restrepo, Senior Advisor
Dan Restrepo is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies. Dan has built a career crafting strategies and solving problems at the intersection of policy, politics, communications, and law in both the private and public sectors. In the private sector, he has worked on behalf of a wide range of clients including multinational media and technology companies, independent energy producers, private equity funds, major consumer products companies, and global law firms, among others. In government, he has served at the highest levels of all three branches of the US Federal government.
Prior to joining Laurel Strategies, he founded Restrepo Strategies LLC, which provided counsel to those engaged in or exploring opportunities in the Americas and Spain. He is an on-air analyst for CNN/CNN Español, a columnist for Latin Trade and CNNE Opinión, a regular conference speaker, and has served on the board of directors of a publicly traded Fortune 1000 company.
Dan served as the principal advisor to President Obama on issues related to Latin America, the Caribbean, and Canada, serving as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council. Previously, he served on the professional staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs, as well as a Law Clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and has worked in a variety of roles in each of the past 5 U.S. presidential elections.
Dan is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, practicing at the law firm of Williams & Connolly, LLP. Dan, his wife, and their two children live in Washington, DC.
Jeff Rosenthal, Senior Advisor
Jeff Rosenthal is Co-Founder of Summit, a cutting-edge organization best known for hosting global ideas festivals and events, and is the owner/designer/developer of Summit Powder Mountain and Powder Mountain ski resort in Eden, Utah.
He is also Co-Director of Summit Action Fund, which makes investments in startups that drive innovation and positive market disruption, such as Uber, Warby Parker, Katerra, Clover Health, Classpass, Ready Responders, Rubicon Recycling, Change.org, among others.
Jeff and is a Founding Partner at the Drawdown Fund with Paul Hawken, and a Senior Advisor to TPG Rise, one of the world’s largest Impact Funds.
Jeff is a founding board member of the Summit Institute, as well as the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, and currently serves on the boards of Beyond Conflict and Street Soccer USA, and the Leadership Council at Conservation International.
Stephanie Rudnick, Senior Advisor
Stephanie Rudnick is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies and a seasoned brand management and communications strategist with over 20 years’ experience working across numerous industries – sports, entertainment, lifestyle, technology, travel, luxury, advertising, experiential and marketing. Rudnick previously ran global communications for Wasserman Media Group. A native of Chicago, Rudnick is a graduate of the University of Southern California and lives in New York City with her two children.
Ralph Simon, Senior Advisor
Ralph Simon is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies and one of the founders of the global mobile & social media industry, a visionary & innovator popularly known as “the father of the ring tone”. An expert on smartphone lifestyles, multi-screen creativity & a specialist in providing mobile health delivery systems, he founded the world’s first international global commercial ring tone service in the Europe, Africa, North America, the UK & Australasia. One of the world’s top 50 mobile executives since 2005, Ralph relentlessly searches the world for the smartest new mobile & wireless apps, mobile health platforms, Virtual Reality, mobile business creativity & ‘positive disruption’ strategies. His expertise & companies are experts in mobile social media, mobile health & wellness, mobile games & VR, global mobile business strategies, ‘positive disruption’ strategies for large companies & effective mobile execution. He knows that the future belongs to “Screenagers” everywhere, & expertly advises large companies on best commercial application of mobile multi-screen & smartphone implementation & strategic use. Mobilium recently launched Africa’s first-ever mobile health delivery network, working closely with the African Leadership Network in Africa to grow mobile health & connected health tech across Africa. Mobilium is also involved in: Mobile Games – making the first-ever John Lennon mobile Virtual Reality experience, Sports: developing the 1st-ever British Professional Basketball League in the UK; Positive Disruption for Companies: Building specialised “Positive Disruption” strategies for large companies, through their Helsinki, Finland company. He’s responsible for curating & programming some of the world’s most important start-up & future tech gatherings worldwide, including : the Pioneers (Future Tech Festival), Vienna; The African Leadership Network in Africa ; The Mobile World Congress keynote stage, CTIA’s Mobile Convention, Las Vegas in the USA, The “All That Matters” annual digital & mobile convention in Singapore. He is a Global Judge & board member of the United Nations’ World Summit Awards, the world’s leading mobile apps competition. Known internationally as a prominent & provocative public speaker & moderator, & developer of start-ups & innovation initiatives, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in the UK, a member of the National Academy of Recorded Arts & Sciences in the USA & CEO/Founder of Mobilium Global, the international mobile cool hunters. Ralph is based in London, or on a plane to where ground-breaking mobile innovation calls for discovery, development & investment.
Gracie Sun, Senior Advisor
For the past 15 years, Gracie Sun, Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies, has represented and advised multinational corporations on market access, intellectual property, and investment issues in China. Prior to her work with Laurel Strategies, she was Managing Director for China with Stonebridge International, a consulting firm headed by former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former U.S. National Security Advisor Sandy Berger. During her time at Stonebridge, she served as China Representative to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and represented major U.S., European and Chinese firms in the market. She also worked for MBP Consulting, a consulting practice of Mayer, Brown, a Chicago-based law firm. Gracie lives and works in Shanghai.
Susan Toffler, Senior Advisor
Susan Toffler is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies and a leader in the field of communications consulting with more than 25 years of booking guests for CNN, ABC News Nightline and Good Morning America and nearly a decade of working with the nation’s top CEOs on messaging, training, crisis strategy, coaching and broadcast placement.
Ryan Velasco, Senior Vice President
Ryan Velasco is a Senior Vice President at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC.
Ryan brings more than 16 years of experience in strategic communications, advising a range of public and private sector clients on issues from crisis messaging and brand reputation to stakeholder engagement, government relations, ESG, resilience planning, and public-private partnerships. At Laurel, he serves on the leadership teams for a number of clients ranging from healthcare to technology to consumer services. He also utilizes his extensive background in public speaking to provide bespoke media training and executive coaching for clients across the firm.
Ryan has continually worked at the forefront of risk communications. As Vice President at Ogilvy, he led elements of a $130M communications contract supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). His private sector portfolio included the development of an executive visibility program for a major agriscience company. He also served in the Obama Administration at the White House Council on Environmental Quality as a Deputy Associate Director on the Land and Water Team, leading a key initiative of the President’s Climate Action Plan.
Ryan is a Member of the Board of Directors for the College of Charleston Alumni Association.
Ryan received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Historic Preservation and Community Planning from the College of Charleston.
Leigh Wedell, Senior Advisor
Leigh Wedell is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies and a veteran facilitator of U.S.-Chinese business relations. She most recently served as Chief Sustainability Officer at The Paulson Institute, a think tank encouraging US-China collaboration on economic and environmental challenges, founded by former US Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson. Leigh has advised U.S. and Chinese companies on market access, profile raising, and government relations for the past decade, working with more than forty companies from twenty business sectors. She has served as Vice President for Albright Stonebridge Group, a leading global consulting firm, and Managing Director for MBP Consulting, a consulting practice of Mayer Brown, a top global law firm. Prior to her consulting work, Leigh was the Deputy Director of the Hong Kong‐U.S. Business Council, a private‐sector initiative administered by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She began her career at the International Republican Institute (IRI), working to implement programs related to China’s political and economic reform.
Isaiah West, Director
Isaiah West is a Director at Laurel Strategies. Isaiah has extensive experience researching, developing, and writing about solutions for complex business challenges, such as talent attraction, retention and training, and navigating major philanthropic giving. He supports clients across the education, technology, and private equity industries, and also has a deep background in research and the healthcare industry.
Before joining Laurel, Isaiah was a Senior Analyst at Advisory Board, a health care best practices firm, and later served as a consultant to a financial wellness start-up.
Isaiah received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Predictive Health from Emory University.
Elisha Wiesel, Senior Advisor
Elisha Wiesel is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies. A former Wall Street executive, Elisha retired from a twenty-five year financial markets career at Goldman Sachs at the end of 2019 and has since dedicated his time to his entrepreneurial, consulting, and philanthropic pursuits, primarily at the intersection of technology and finance.
While on Wall Street, Elisha raised millions of dollars for New York’s neediest through “Midnight Madness”, a puzzle contest he rebooted and grew at scale beginning in 2012. Midnight Madness convened hundreds of finance professionals for an all-night event on the New York City streets, solving elaborately designed puzzles and raising over $3.1 million for Good Shepherd Services. Sponsored by Goldman Sachs Gives, proceeds from the event supported the construction of a state-of-the-art community center in East New York that serves over 1,000 families with programs and services to strengthen the Brooklyn community.
Following his retirement from Goldman Sachs, Elisha volunteered to lead a technology team at Hawkfish, the digital arm of Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign.
Elisha is a board member of Zioness and the Elie Wiesel Foundation. After his father, Elie Wiesel, passed away, Elisha realized the continued impact his father’s legacy could have, and how many others missed his voice. As opportunities present themselves for impact, Elisha spends his time speaking on his father’s legacy and message and how these carry into the present day.
Nefertari Carver, Senior Vice President
Nefertari Carver is a Senior Vice President at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Nefertari has extensive experience in designing and executing communications strategies, advising clients on high-stakes situations and other sensitive matters.
Nefertari serves on the leadership team for a number of clients ranging from global private equity and investment firms to data and technology companies, where she focuses on managing reputational risks and leading ongoing positioning and media relations. She also specializes in communications strategy surrounding CEO transitions, crisis communications, and transformational philanthropy.
Nefertari draws on her experience working with CEOs and executives across the private, public and social sectors. She has worked with leadership teams on strategy and execution at the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and with AARP’s Public Policy Institute where she developed a national coalition of philanthropic, business, and non-profit organizations.
Early in her career, Nefertari worked with Donna Brazile where she oversaw press relations, research, and thought leadership convenings; and served in the offices of Congresswoman Barbara Lee.
Nefertari holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a Master of Public Administration degree from Villanova University.
Alix Boulud, Senior Director
Dan Kaplan, Senior Advisor
Dan Kaplan is a Senior Advisor at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Dan brings to Laurel Strategies over 25 years of digital strategy, content development, and marketing experience, including website messaging, Google rankings, social media, SEO, and online reputation management. He also specializes in managing and improving team communications with behavior, science-based approaches.
Most recently, Dan was the Managing Director of Corporate Communications for IMPAQ International, a 400-person public policy research and data analytics firm, where he oversaw all aspects of branding, marketing, internal communications, events, publishing, public relations, and corporate social responsibility. Through his wide-ranging career, Dan has been a college writing instructor, travel writer, fundraiser, Federal program manager, entrepreneur, and owner of a digital marketing agency. He is also an advisor to Climb for Hope, a non-profit supporting cancer and MS research through mountain climbing.
Dan earned a Master of Arts degree in English from the University of Maine as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Business from the University of Maryland.
Connor James, Senior Director
Connor James is a Senior Director at Laurel Strategies. Connor advises clients on navigating crises, geopolitics, current events, and strategic positioning, with a focus on navigating public and private company CEO transitions and geopolitical and national security strategy.
He has previously worked at the National Security Policy Center, and his work on optics and threat-making in foreign affairs has been published in the Modern War Institute at West Point.
Connor is a Millennium Fellow at the Atlantic Council and a Young Everglades Patron at the Everglades Foundation.
Connor received a Master of Arts degree in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia where he focused his research on increasing the effectiveness of US coercive threats to prevent global conflict. He also received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from The George Washington University where he was a three-season NCAA Division 1 athlete. He was also awarded the Joshua Evans III Prize acknowledging top graduating students in political science.
Steven Lloyd Parker, Managing Director
Steve Parker is a Managing Director at Laurel Strategies. An experienced advisor, Steve brings to Laurel a proven record of excellence under varied, unstructured, and adverse conditions around the world, leveraging over two decades of executive leadership and program management experience in the US military, the federal interagency, and national nonprofit organizations.
Previously, Steve was an Army Operations and Foreign Area Officer, he has deep experience in change management and in motivating a diverse workforce.
Steve helped launch WorkMerk, a privately-held, software-as-a-service company focused on helping digitize workflow for the deskless, remote, and disconnected frontline workforce.
Steve has worked in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East; in US embassies in Zimbabwe, Djibouti, and numerous other countries across Africa, including service as a United Nations Military Observer, monitoring the cease-fire conditions between Morocco and Western Sahara. A direct advisor to the US Ambassador in Djibouti, Steve helped establish the only permanent US Military installation in Africa, and served as the Aide and Deputy Exec to Africa Command’s first, four-star Commander. He was selected as a White House Fellow and worked in the office of First Lady Laura Bush; then served as a speechwriter for the 35th Chief of Staff of the Army.
Previously, Steve commanded Soldiers from the Army’s famed 10th Mountain Division, Light Infantry; during year-long combat operations in Iraq. After nearly three years as Chief of Operations, Plans and Simulations for Fires Center of Excellence, Steve returned to Washington DC to work for First Lady Michelle Obama and (then Second Lady) Dr. Jill Biden as Executive Director of the White House Veterans & Military Family initiative, Joining Forces. Steve was Senior Advisor to the Africa Center for Strategic Studies and Director of the State Department’s Africa Military Education Program with responsibilities across 25 countries.
He is a graduate of West Point and Yale. An avid mountain biker, Steve lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and their 3 sons. His daughter Zoe is an Environmentalist in Austin.
Jacob Link, Director
Jacob Link is a Director at Laurel Strategies. He has experience in political organizing, journalism, public messaging, and legislative affairs. Prior to joining Laurel, Jacob was a Field Organizer at Biden for President, working in five U.S. states during the 2020 presidential primary. He later worked as a Regional Organizing Director at the Texas Democratic Party.
Jacob graduated from Harvard University, concentrating in History with a secondary concentration in Russian Studies. During college, he also served as an Associate Managing Editor at the Harvard Political Review. He enjoys reading, shooting sports, cooking, and board gaming.
Grace Cabuena, Director
Grace Cabuena is a Director at Laurel Strategies. Grace advises and supports clients across professional services, consumer services, and technology and has experience in supporting the publication and promotion of published works, particularly professional autobiographies, and long-form thought leadership writing and placement.
Her experience prior to joining the Laurel Strategies team includes the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, working on issues related to national security and foreign policy in East Asia, the National Defense University, and the Beijing Yilian Legal Aid and Research Center of Labor. Grace is also a member of JUST Capital’s JUSTGen network.
Grace received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from American University with a minor in Mandarin Chinese.
Grace is an intermediate speaker of Mandarin Chinese.
Suta Kavari, Head of Research
Suta Kavari is the Head of Research at Laurel Strategies, based in London. Suta brings broad and diverse experience to Laurel Strategies, with his background in political economy analysis and investment strategy. Suta leads Laurel’s thought leadership and sector research, delivering market analysis and data insights that are critical in addressing our clients’ evolving needs.
From our office in London, Suta and his team closely monitor and analyze media coverage across a broad range of platforms—gathering and analyzing industry data on key issues, events and commercial developments.
Prior to joining Laurel, Suta was a researcher for Oxford University’s Net Zero Initiative and worked with financial services firms on strategies to embed social and environmental factors across their operations. Suta previously worked in the Namibian Presidency on economic policy issues and served as an adviser to the delegations to UNGA, G20, and other high-level international forums. Suta brings this wide-ranging experience to Laurel, giving us a global and comprehensive perspective on our research function.
Suta holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Oxford. He received his Bachelor’s in Economics and Risk Management from the North-West University, South Africa and earned a graduate degree in Sustainable Development with top honors from Stellenbosch University.
Jessica Carmona, Director, Office of the CEO
Jessica Carmona is a Director in the Office of the CEO at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Jessica specializes in project management, organizational DEI strategy and programming, and major conference and event engagement.
Jessica also brings with her to Laurel experience in nonprofit advocacy and stakeholder management. Before joining the firm, she served as a Member Board Relations Manager at the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), advocating, and promoting the organization’s architectural standards, programs, and services to its various stakeholders. Jessica also previously worked at the National League of Cities, and for the cities of Huntsville and Eden, Texas and in the United States Department of State’s Office of Civil Rights.
Jessica received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sam Houston State University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Virginia Tech.
Jessica is fluent in Spanish.
Noah Ramsey, Senior Research Analyst
Noah Ramsey is a Senior Research Analyst at Laurel Strategies, based in DC and working within the firm’s London-based research team. Noah supports clients across Laurel in research and analysis, white paper research and creation, and developing bespoke media monitoring and analysis solutions to further the firm’s holistic offerings.
Noah received a Master of Arts degree in Security Studies, with a focus on the transatlantic defense relationship, as well as a Bachelor of Science degree in International Politics from Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service.
Justine Adelizzi, Senior Advisor
Justine Adelizzi is an award-winning speechwriter, executive communications strategist, and the founder of FEARLESScomms.
Justine has served as a trusted advisor to executives at the highest levels of the public and private sector, including the International Finance Corporation, VMware, The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. She has written for national and international audiences, prepared speakers for events at SXSW, Aspen Ideas, and the National Press Club, and had her work recognized by USA Today and Vital Speeches of the Day.
In 2021, Justine founded FEARLESScomms, a coaching, consulting, and communications firm dedicated to creating better leaders and better leadership storytelling. She prides herself on helping executives and entrepreneurs find their voice and become the most confident, authentic, and effective versions of themselves.
Adam Basciano, Strategic Advisor
Adam Basciano is a Strategic Advisor at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Adam has experience in social impact and philanthropy, cross-sector partnerships, and vision and strategy setting and execution.
Adam’s writings have appeared in numerous outlets, and he was recognized as a “36 under 36” by the Jewish Week for his advancing support for the two-state solution. He is a Board Member of Story Tapestries, a Strategy Consultant for Compass Pro Bono, and is on the Advisory Council of Heart of a Nation.
Adam received his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations from Colgate University and his Master’s in Global Business Administration from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.
Jaren McKinnie, Director
Jaren McKinnie is a Director at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Jaren focuses on advising clients across racial equity, DEI, and philanthropic initiatives, and provides hands-on expertise related to podcast and radio show production and major event support, including at national events such as SXSW and for campaigns surrounding national awareness months.
Prior to joining Laurel, he worked in offices in the New York State Senate and the U.S. Senate. He also served as a Leonard D. Schaeffer Fellow in Government Service in 2019 while working in the U.S. Senate.
Jaren received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs as well as a certificate in French Language and Culture.
Alexandra Hubbard-Gourlay, Director
Alexandra Hubbard-Gourlay is a Director at Laurel Strategies, based in New York City. Alexandra provides support to clients in strategic communications including thought leadership, LinkedIn and social media strategy, and speaker training. She has also co-lead strategy and execution at key global convenings and industry events, including the World Economic Forum, and supported cover profiles in major magazines including Forbes.
Before joining Laurel, Alexandra helped build Slide, a SaaS technology startup, as the company’s Chief Financial Officer and a leader within the company’s Sales and People teams. Alexandra previously served as Chief Financial Officer of the Georgetown University Alumni and Student Federal Credit Union and has a deep-seated passion for public service. She is an active member of New York Women in Communications.
Alexandra graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in International Politics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, with a minor in French and Francophone Studies and an Honors Certificate in International Business Diplomacy.
Alexandra is fluent in French.
Josh Horen, Senior Associate
Joshua Horen is a Senior Associate at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Josh provides support to clients on media engagement, thought leadership, and strategic positioning. He also has experience in external communications, including social media, press release, and reactive statement development.
Before joining Laurel, Josh served on a communications team for a political campaign and worked in various child-development research settings, including at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC.
Josh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government and Politics and Family Science from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Morgan Adderley, Director
Morgan Adderley is a Director at Laurel Strategies. An experienced journalist and policy analyst, Morgan’s work with Laurel focuses on the technology and alternative assets industries with a focus on written mediums including published op-eds and blog work, as well as corporate giving campaigns.
Morgan’s previous work and studies have taken her across the United States, the Caribbean, and the United Kingdom. Previously, she served in the Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit in The Bahamas where she held primary responsibility for health, particularly national COVID-19 response plans, and inner-city development, supporting efforts to rebuild major islands devastated by Hurricane Dorian in 2019.
Morgan holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Oxford. She graduated magna cum laude from Northeastern University where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs with minors in Political Science and English.
Max Robins, Senior Associate
Max Robins is a Senior Associate at Laurel Strategies. With a background in strategic communications, issue advocacy, and political organizing, Max supports clients across a range of work, including philanthropic work, DEI and ESG messaging, website creation, event planning and execution, and media relations.
He previously served as a Co-Founder and the inaugural Political and Legislative director of March For Our Lives Long Island. He has also coordinated the internship program of a successful county executive race in New York.
Max is also the Founder and Executive Director of Students Against Child Marriage, the first youth-led organization to combat the American child marriage crisis, which has successfully helped end child marriage through legislation passed in five states. He has offered testimony in more than a dozen states and is frequently consulted by researchers and the media.
Max graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Data Science and Political Science with a minor in Literature from American University.
Nina Weiss, Associate
Nina Weiss is an Associate at Laurel Strategies. Before joining Laurel, she worked for NBC Sports as a researcher during the Beijing 2022 Olympics. She also interned for a Massachusetts based think tank and for Congressman Stephen F. Lynch.
Nina graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.A. in International Studies and Sociology. Outside of work she enjoys barre fitness classes, long walks, and cheering for the Boston Red Sox.
Oliver Hull, Special Assistant
Oliver Hull is the Special Assistant to the CEO of Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Oliver works within the Office of the CEO to support the CEO and manage high-priority initiatives, project and event management, logistical coordination, and business operations. He brings to Laurel experience working in national security, non-profit, and legislative fields.
Oliver previously served as the Special Assistant to a United States Representative. In this role, he provided logistical support and advised the Congressman on matters of policy, messaging and strategy. Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Oliver was recognized as a Global Youth Ambassador for his efforts to organize the International Youth Leadership Assembly Summit at the United Nations and World Bank.
Oliver received a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Maryland.
Will Hanna, Research Associate
Will Hanna is a Research Associate at Laurel Strategies, working within the firm’s London-based research team. Will provides support to clients across the firm on media monitoring and social listening, and has deep experience in designing, developing, and delivering regular listening reports for clients to contribute to Laurel’s 360-degree approach to each client.
Will received a Master’s of Philosophy degree in Political Thought and Intellectual History from the University of Cambridge, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Political Science and Economics from Montreal’s McGill University. He is also currently pursuing a joint Bachelor of Civil Law and Juris Doctor degree from McGill University’s Faculty of Law.
Renata Sakaeva, Associate
Renata Sakaeva is an Associate at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Renata supports clients with strategic messaging and positioning, with experience in navigating CEO transitions. Her work draws on her background in international and foreign affairs and legislative research.
Prior to joining Laurel, she worked at Morgan Stanley, the US House of Representatives, and MSD Partners.
Renata earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government with minors in Economics and Russian from Georgetown University.
Renata is fluent in Russian.
Adam Volman, Associate
Adam Volman is an Associate at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Adam brings experience from the foreign policy, legislative, non-profit, and campaign sectors to support clients in areas including media relations and monitoring, geopolitical issues, event planning and execution, and strategic communications.
Prior to Laurel, Adam helped shape policy, supported client engagement initiatives, and briefed senior executives and government officials on a range of international issues, with a particular focus on the UK-EU-US relationships. He has also supported strategy and development initiatives at the Alpha Epsilon Pi Foundation and worked with Senator Chris Murphy (CT), State Senator Barry Finegold (MA), and at B’nai B’rith International.
Adam is a Fellow of the International Jewish Committee for Interreligious Consultations (IJCIC), representing B’nai B’rith International.
Adam has a Master’s of Arts degree in Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a Master’s of Arts in International Affairs from the University of St Gallen. Adam also holds a Master of Arts with Honours in International Relations from The University of St Andrews.
Valerie Green, Managing Director
Valerie Green is Managing Director at Laurel Strategies. She has more than 25 years of experience practicing law and executing results-driven advocacy strategies in the private and public sectors.
Prior to joining Laurel, Valerie was the Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer at Ligado Networks, a satellite communications company, where she Led the company’s legal, regulatory and public affairs efforts.
Previously, Valerie served as Assistant to President Obama and Director of Presidential Personnel at the White House, where she advised the President, cabinet members and other senior government officials on human capital issues arising across the Executive Branch. She also served in the White House as Deputy Special Counsel to the President and Special Assistant to the President. Her work in government also includes serving as the General Counsel at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency now known as AmeriCorps. There, she helped develop launch innovative partnerships to expand national service and advance policy priorities for other federal agencies and communities, including FEMA Corps (focused on disaster relief and recovery) and Justice AmeriCorps (providing legal aid for unaccompanied minors).
Valerie started her career as a litigator at Cravath, Swaine and Moore and later practiced law at Venable as well as Wiley Rein. She has also worked at People for the American Way.
Valerie received a B.A. in Political Science from Barnard College and a J.D. from New York University School of Law. She lives in the Washington, DC area.
William Boosalis, Senior Associate
William Boosalis is a Senior Associate at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Will specializes in digital production and communication strategies, including videography and graphic design, and brings to Laurel deep knowledge in US foreign affairs and Middle E
Before joining Laurel, he served as an account manager at DCI Group and in the offices of two United States Representatives, as well as the State Department’s Libya office and Brookings Doha Center.
Will received a Master of Arts degree in Middle Eastern Studies from Boston College where he also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Islamic Civilizations after spending a year abroad at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar.
Jimmy Miotto, Senior Associate
James “Jimmy” Miotto is a Senior Associate at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Jimmy supports clients across the financial services, sports, and technology industries, and has experience in strategic messaging development, policy analysis, media relations, and thought leadership.
Before joining Laurel, Jimmy spent time as a political consultant, an international development contract, and a Senate campaign staffer. He also previously served as the Executive Editor of the Chicago Policy Review, where he shaped the editorial direction of the journal and established the Commentary section as an outlet for persuasive writing for graduate students at the University of Chicago.
Jimmy received his Master’s of Public Policy degree from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, with certificates in Political Campaigns and International Development. He also received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Economy from Williams College.
Katya Kopach, Associate
Katya Kopach is an Associate at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Katya brings to Laurel experience in management consulting for public, private, and civil organizations, as well as project management, change management, qualitative analysis, and human-centered design and branding.
Previously, Katya worked with several organizations focused on social impact, including the Burnes Institute for Poverty Research, the Princeton University Center for Health and Wellbeing, and Special Olympics International. She is a member of the Princeton Club of Washington.
Katya received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Princeton University with certificates in Spanish Language and Culture and Values and Public Life.
Katya is an intermediate speaker of Spanish and Ukrainian.
Priya Robb, Executive Assistant
Priya Robb is an Executive Assistant at Laurel Strategies, based in Washington, DC. Priya works within the Office of the CEO to manage high-priority initiatives, project and event management, and logistical coordination.
Previously, Priya worked for a United States Representative as Director of Operations where she served on the Constituent Services team coordinating federal agency casework for constituents, as well as managing the Congressman’s social media, website, and written communications, and schedule.
Priya received a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Women & Gender Studies from the University at Colorado, Boulder.
Caleb Symons, Research Analyst
Caleb Symons is a Research Analyst at Laurel Strategies, working within the firm’s London-based research team. Caleb supports clients across Laurel in research and analysis, bespoke media monitoring and analysis solutions, policy research, and copywriting.
He is a former journalist with extensive experience reporting on Big Tech, investor-state relations, civil litigation and government. Caleb is also a Communications Advisor to the American Amputee Soccer Association.
Caleb received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and International Relations from Tufts University.
Mariana Palau, Senior Director
Mariana Palau is a Senior Director at Laurel Strategies. With over a decade of journalistic experience, Mariana brings significant expertise to Laurel Strategies, stemming from her work across various media platforms, including print, radio, and TV. Previously a journalist with The Economist covering Colombia, Mariana is the winner of the Simon Bolivar Award, one of the most prestigious journalism awards in Latin America, as well as the Breakthrough Journalism Award, from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting in Washington D.C.
Mariana has focused her work on analyzing all matters related to public policy and macroeconomics. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Journalism from Columbia University and a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Oxford.
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