Dr. Laura Zahra McDonald

Laura has extensive experience in innovative enquiry and evaluation as an academic and independent consultant for policy, practitioner and community-based organisations. Specialising in qualitative methodologies and participatory action research in the areas of justice, security and social relations, she has a particular interest in the connectivity between the local and transnational. Her focus is on women and young people.

After studying Social Anthropology with sub-honours in Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies at the University of St Andrews, she completed her PhD at the Centre for Women’s Studies, University of York in intersectionality and Islam. Her post-doctoral work at the University of Birmingham investigated state-community engagement in the context of security and conflict post 9/11, within which she highlighted the importance of young people and women. Prior to co-founding ConnectJustice, Laura lectured internationally while researching, engaging and advising high-impact projects for diverse organisations.