Executive Director and Founder
Laura was born in the beautiful city of Santiago, Dominican Republic, and immigrated to New York when she was 12 years old. While helping her mother navigate the “American System”, she quickly developed an interest in public service and New York politics. For approximately five years, she was a top-ranking Dominican woman in New York City government, serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to the New York City Public Advocate, Letitia James (now NYS Attorney General). Before that, she was President & CEO of LA & Associates, Inc., a professional consulting entity whose main projects were political in nature. In addition to her political endeavors, Laura is a dedicated community activist and advocate for human rights and with the need to support the Dominican community, she founded the Juan Pablo Duarte Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in 2003. The Foundation provides educational guidance and mentorship to Latino students both in New York and the Dominican Republic. Laura also opened the first Beacon School for the Dominican Association of Progressive Dominicans (ACDP), which continues to serve thousands of families on an annual basis. Through this work, Laura has helped cultivate the educational success of numerous students who are the first in their families to attend college. Laura has directed field operations for multiple political campaigns, including Bill Thompson for Mayor 2013, 2010 campaign for New York State Assembly, New York State Senate races in Long Island and Washington Heights in 2010. Laura is proud to have been part of the organizing team that helped elect the first Dominican lawyer in New York City history to a Civil Court judgeship in 1997, and part of the 2016 campaign that helped elect the first U.S. congressman of Dominican heritage, Adriano Espaillat. Laura earned her B.A. in Human Services from Metropolitan College of New York. Her favorite song is “La Vida es un Carnaval” by Celia Cruz.