DSC04393Dr. Tara Cookson is Co-Founder and Director of Ladysmith.  Tara earned her PhD from the University of Cambridge, where she was a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Her forthcoming book, Unjust Conditions: Women’s Work and the Hidden Cost of Cash Transfer Programs analyzes women’s experiences of participating in the world’s most widely implemented anti-poverty programs. In 2014 she received the Bill Gates Sr Prize for founding a leadership program called Learning for Purpose. Tara is a SSHRC Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia, a Seattle Women’s Commissioner, and has served as a proud board member of the Kelowna Women’s Resource Centre, not far from her grandmother’s birthplace, Ladysmith.


Dr. Lorena Fuentes is Co-Founder and Principal of Ladysmith. Lorena earned her PhD from the University of London, Birkbeck, as a School of Social Sciences Fellow and as Chair of the Gender & Social Policy in Latin America Academic Working Group. Her recent research analyzes how gender norms shape and constrain policy interventions around gender-based violence and insecurity. Lorena is currently a Research Affiliate at the University of California’s Center for Population Research and also proudly serves as an Advisory Board Member of the Justice for My Sister Collective.