Laura is Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales at the Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University. Previously, she was Professor of Governance at the University of Liverpool's School of Management. She was educated at Bryntirion Comprehensive School, Bridgend and is a graduate of the London School of Economics (BSc. Econ in Government) and Cardiff University (PhD in politics).
Laura was a member of the Richard Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements for National Assembly for Wales (2002-04), provided research advice to the Independent Panel on AMs Pay and Support in 2008-09. Laura chaired the Expert Group on Diversity in Local Government (2013-14) and was a member of the National Assembly Remuneration Board between 2015-16. She chaired the National Assembly’s Expert Panel on Electoral Reform that reported in December 2017.
She is an Honorary Visiting Professor at Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia and the China National School of Administration, Beijing.
A former Wales football international and national team captain with 24 caps, Laura was Chair of Sport Wales between 2010-2016 and a Board Member of UK Sport, the Government's agency for Olympic and Paralympic sport, between 2010-2016. She is a Trustee Director of the FAW Trust and Deputy Chairperson of the UEFA Women’s Football Committee. She is also a Trustee of the Institute of Welsh Affairs, as well as a member of the Wales Advisory Committee of the British Council.
Laura holds honorary degrees from the Universities of Bangor, Cardiff, Cardiff Metropolitan, Glamorgan (South Wales), Swansea, and Trinity St David, and is a Fellow of the Learned Society of Wales and the Royal Society of the Arts. She was awarded a CBE in 2016.
Laura is currently a Professor of Public Policy and the Governance of Wales at the Wales Governance Centre, Cardiff University. She was a member of the National Assembly Remuneration Board between 2015 and 2016 and chaired the National Assembly's Expert Panel on Electoral Reform in 2017.