Laura Yates is a Chicago-based consultant, blending policy, economic, and applied sciences training and expertise to support nonprofits and businesses working for a better world.

Laura currently serves as Program Director for the Byron Fellowship Educational Foundation, where she plans a week-long intensive for emerging leaders, social entrepreneurs, and changemakers. Laura also manages relationships with the Byron Alumni network and organizational partners, working with the mentor team and educational partners to develop trainings and content to support alumni well beyond their fellowship year. Laura also serves as Project Manager for the Breaking Through Gridlock initiative, which supports people in having difficult, values-laden conversations in pursuit of a better world. As project manager for the educational initiative, Laura delivers Breaking Through Gridlock workshops, develops curriculum resources to support educators in incorporating the BTG methodology in their classes, and interfaces with faculty partners.

Laura graduated from Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs in 2016 with a Master of Science in Environmental Sciences (MSES) and a Master of Public Affairs (MPA), concentrating in Sustainable Development and Policy Analysis. Laura holds a BS in Economics and a secondary major in Earth, Environment and Global Sustainability from Bentley University, where her research covered cross-cultural communication, environmental economics, and sustainability in business.

Originally from Indianapolis, Laura spent seven years growing up in Switzerland, where she was inspired by the Swiss cultural and regulatory approach to community and the environment. From 2014 to 2017, Laura lived in a self-designed, self-built tiny house, as an experiment in sustainable, values-driven living and design (hear the story from Laura’s 2015 TEDx talk).