Lara's work focuses on improving the impacts of international aid in conflict affected states. She has 15 years experience working with relief, development and peacebuilding agencies and conducting research and training on peacebuilding effectiveness. Currently, together with Dr. Hrach Gregorian, Lara is completing a multi-year research project examining systems approaches to effective coordination in peacebuilding (the Building Durable Peace Project). Prior to coming to Calgary, Lara worked with several international research projects based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She directed the first three years of the ongoing Reflecting on Peace Practice project, and worked with the Consensus Building Institute, the Conflict Management Group and the Harvard Project on Negotiation on research and training projects focused on effective responses to ethnic conflicts and civil wars.
Internationally, she has worked in Russia, the Caucasus, Central Asia and Chile, and speaks Russian and Spanish. Lara has a Masters degree in International Politics from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. (Honours) in Political Science from the University of British Colombia.
She has taught the following courses at the University of Calgary:
LAW 693.04 Rule of Law (2013) - as a contributor with several other instructors /
SOCIAL WORK Advanced International Social Work Modules: Contemporary Peacebuilding (2011/12/13) - with Hrach Gregorian /
INTRO 501 Humanitarianism, Peacebuilding and Statebuilding in War (2012) /
STST 651.26 The Challenge of Contemporary Peacebuilding - with Hrach Gregorian (2009/10/11) /
INTR 501 NGOs, Aid, and Contemporary Conflicts (2007).