Laura Cabrera
Laura Cabrera
Visiting Lecturer
Cornell Institute for Public Affairs


Laura Cabrera (BS, MPA, PhD, Cornell) currently teaches Systems Thinking and Modeling and Organizational Design, Change and Leadership at the Institute for Policy Affairs. She is co-founder and Chief  Research Officer at Cabrera Research Lab. Dr. Cabrera is also the Co-principal Investigator and acting Executive Director of ThinkWater, a USDA-funded initiative designed to implement systems thinking nationwide in water-based research, extension, and education. Over the past decade, Cabrera has applied her expertise in research methods and translational research to increase public understanding, practical application, and dissemination of sophisticated systems science and systems thinking models. She was a senior researcher at Cornell University’s Family Life Development Center and has more than twenty years of research and teaching experience at Cornell University, where she taught coursework on families and social policy in Cornell's Department of Human Development.

Prior to her work at Cornell, Cabrera conducted research at the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Department of Justice. She has authored five books including Systems Thinking Made Simple: New Hope for Solving Wicked Problems, Flock not Clock: Align People, Processes, and Systems to Achieve your Vision, and Thinking at Every Desk: Four Simple Skills to Transform Your Classroom (Norton). Cabrera holds a PhD in Policy Analysis and Management,  a Master's in Public Administration, and a Bachelor's degree, all from Cornell University. She is a member of the United States Military Academy at West Point’s Systems Engineering Advisory Board. She specializes in translating cutting-edge research from the learning sciences for broad application--whether in corporations, schools, nonprofits, government agencies, or for parents interested in the psychosocial development of their children. She lives in Ithaca with her husband, three children, and three dogs.


2006 Cornell University, PhD, Department of Policy Analysis and Management.

1993 Cornell University, MPA, Institute for Public Affairs

1992 Cornell University, BS College of Human Ecology

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