Researcher & Policy Advocate, Center on Policy Initiatives
Keara O'Laughlin is a Researcher & Policy Advocate at the Center on Policy Initiatives. She leads organizational research on economic justice, good governance, housing justice, public benefits, climate justice, transportation equity, worker rights, and local budgeting issues. Passionate about translating policy research into action, Keara provides research guidance to the Community Budget Alliance (CBA) and represents CPI in multiple progressive coalitions. She is also a San Diego County Social Services Advisory Board member. Keara's varied policy experience centers on the main themes of advocating for gender, racial, and economic equity, while ensuring those most impacted by policy changes are centered in decision-making. Before joining CPI, Keara provided program support for the Hope Street Margolis Family Center in Downtown Los Angeles, helping the center meet the needs of low-income families in the community. In addition, during her time in graduate school, Keara was the Legislative Director at the UCLA Graduate Student Association where she advocated for student housing and other basic needs on behalf of all UCLA graduate students in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. She also spent her early career working on expanding healthcare access at UnitedHealthcare. She earned her Master of Public Policy from the UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs and holds a B.A. in Public Health from UC Berkeley. In her free time, Keara loves reading, spending time with friends and family, surfing, hiking, and planning new travel adventures.