Laura J. Lederer founded and directed The Protection Project at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1997. From 2001 to 2009, she served as Senior Advisor on Trafficking in Persons to Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs, Paula J. Dobriansky, and then Senior Director of Global Projects in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons at the U.S. Department of State.
From 2001 to 2009, she was also the Executive Director of the Senior Policy Operating Group on Trafficking in Persons, a high-level policy group that staffed the President’s cabinet-level Inter-agency Task Force on Trafficking in Persons. In 2010, Ms. Lederer founded Global Centurion, a non-profit organization dedicated to eradicating modern slavery by focusing on the demand side of the problem – the perpetrators, exploiters, buyers, and end-users of human beings, seeking to prevent modern slavery at its source.
Under her leadership, Global Centurion has developed significant demand-focused research and programs, including sector specific trainings for the U.S. Department of Defense; designed and conducted innovative research on the health consequences of human trafficking and on the link between organized crime and human trafficking; provided cutting-edge education, awareness and advocacy training to communities, civic leaders, NGOs, law enforcement and at-risk populations; and established partnerships and collaborative networks to respond to modern slavery.