Laura Cabrera, PhD
Laura Cabrera (B.S., M.P.A, & PhD, Cornell) currently teaches Systems Thinking and Modeling and Systems Leadership at Cornell University at the Institute for Policy Affairs. She is also senior researcher at the Cabrera Research Lab and Chief Research Officer of Plectica. 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. Cabrera was the acting Executive Director of ThinkWater, a USDA-funded initiative designed to implement systems thinking nationwide in water-based research, extension, and education. In 2018, she received the National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) for her work in cognitive mapping. She was a senior researcher at Cornell University’s Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research 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 and Thinking at Every Desk: Four Simple Skills to Transform Your Classroom (Norton), Flock Not Clock: Design, Align, and Lead to Achieve Your Vision. and is currently co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Systems Thinking. Her work in public schools was documented in the full-length documentary film, RE:Thinking. Cabrera holds a PhD in Policy Analysis and Management and 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, NY, with her husband, Derek Cabrera, three children, and three dogs.