Laura Cohen, as Director of the Western Region (comprising 6 western states), Laura is responsible for carrying out Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's mission to create healthier places for healthier people by creating networks of trails and connecting corridors. Over the past decade, Laura has successfully advocated to protect and expand hundreds of millions of dollars in bicycle, pedestrian and trail funding in California. She regularly speaks on policy initiatives to promote trails and greenways for recreation, public health, transportation, and smart growth. She co-founded the Caltrans Active Transportation and Livable Communities Advisory Group which has successfully advocated for a strong Complete Streets policy in California. Previously she served as Senior Counsel for MGM/UA Studios and as senior environmental policy staff for a State Senator. Laura holds a B.A. in Political Science from U.C. Santa Barbara, and a law degree from U.C. Berkeley's Boalt Hall Law School.