Laura Schroeder is a policy professional dedicated to furthering human rights and equity. Currently, she is the senior manager of legislative affairs at PEN America. In this role, she develops and leads the organization’s strategy for advancing its legislative priorities across the human rights and free expression space. Prior to joining PEN America, Schroeder was the manager of government affairs at Teach For America, advocating for federal policies and funding to support low-income students and diverse teachers. She also previously served as a program analyst in the Bureau of Diplomatic Security at the United States Department of State. There she supported critical technology security projects across the world.Schroeder got her start in policy at the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education in Washington, DC, where she worked to increase student attendance by crafting and implementing policies and programs to eliminate barriers for students and families. Before working in local government, she was a researcher and translator documenting disappearances in two Mexican states. Her career began as a high school social studies teacher in Charlotte, North Carolina where she was deeply committed to closing the opportunity gap for students.Schroeder is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where she double majored in Spanish and global studies with a thematic focus on human rights and justice and a minor in political science. She is a member of the 2023 Foreign Policy for America NextGen Initiative cohort and currently resides in Washington, DC.