Lara is a native of Los Angeles California and has nearly two-decades of experience in international affairs, development and U.S. government relations. In 2016, she returned from three-years working abroad to reactivate Safadi Foundation USA, a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to Lebanon’s human development. Recently, she served as a Senior Fellow at Fundação Luso-Americana in Lisbon, where she organized the launch of the Luso- American Legislators’ Dialogue. Prior to that, she founded Safadi Foundation USA in 2008 and served as the Executive Director. In this capacity, she launched the Safadi-Stanford Initiative for Policy Innovation at the Wilson Center, a scholars’ program that featured Christine Lagarde’s first public remarks on the economies of the Arab region after the uprisings began in December 2010.


She began her career as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. House of Representatives International Relations Committee (HIRC) under then Chairman Henry J. Hyde, maintaining  oversight on the Middle East, Afghanistan and environmental issues. She organized fifteen hearings on Middle East and foreign assistance topics throughout the 107th, 108th, and 109th Congresses. She participated in congressional delegations around the world, including a delegation to Kabul, Afghanistan where she worked with the Afghan National Assembly on the role and oversight responsibilities of the legislative branch. She served as the lead House staffer for “The Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005” (P.L. 109-121), a major foreign assistance initiative to bring safe water and sanitation to vulnerable populations.


Lara simultaneously heads her own consulting company focusing on U.S. government relations, non-profit advocacy, and the Middle East. In this capacity she organized peace missions throughout the region between civil society and governments for The Elders, a global United Nations (UN) program led by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.


She has published articles on U.S. politics, foreign policy and Middle East. Please view her Linkedin profile for a full list:


She holds a Master of Arts from Georgetown in Democracy and Governance Studies, a Bachelor of Arts from The George Washington University in Middle Eastern Studies and Religion and Associate of Arts degrees from Santa Barbara City College in History, Political Science and International Studies. In addition, she is a certified yoga instructor.