Laura Birkman

Senior Strategic Analyst

Laura Birkman is a Senior Strategic Analyst at HCSS where she focuses on non-traditional security issues related to climate change, sustainable development, and defense. She currently leads HCSS work for Water, Peace and Security (WPS),  an award winning partnership that looks to pioneer the development of innovative tools and services that help identify and address water-related security risks. She is also a member of the International Military Council on Climate and Security (IMCCS) dedicated to anticipating, analyzing, and addressing the security risks of a changing climate.

Before joining HCSS, Laura worked as Principal and Senior Consultant at Ecorys, an international research and consulting firm, where she helped establish the Security and Justice unit and focused on topics related to civil protection, crisis management, and disaster risk reduction. During this time, Laura led advisory services related to the building of a Community of Users in Secure, Safe and Resilient Societies (CoU), a European Commission initiative focused on reducing fragmentation and increasing impact of EU funded security research. She also initiated the Crisis Management Innovation Network Europe (CMINE) and supported DG HOME during its chairmanship of the International Forum to Advance First Responder Innovation (IFAFRI). Prior to Ecorys, Laura worked for the Dutch government as a senior expert on international biodiversity policy and agricultural trade. She was a key negotiator during the Dutch and Luxembourg Presidencies of the EU at the UN CBD and the FAO. She also served as Agricultural Attaché (First Secretary) at the Netherlands Embassy in Moscow. 

Laura holds a Master in Public Administration (Harvard University, 2012), an Exec. MA International European Relations and Management (University of Amsterdam, 2001), and a Joint MA (Honours) International Relations, Philosophy (University of St. Andrews, 2000). She is a former Fulbright and Netherland-America Foundation Fellow and HSP Huygens Scholar (Harvard). 

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