Laura Cordisco Tsai
Dr. Cordisco Tsai is a social work scholar and practitioner specializing in human trafficking and gender-based violence (GBV). Her research and practice broadly target the development and implementation of more empowering and effective trauma-informed services for survivors of human trafficking and GBV. At the Carr Center, she has led community-based participatory research with survivors of human trafficking and GBV exploring empowerment from survivors’ own perspectives, with the end goal of ensuring that programming and policy match the goals and priorities of survivors themselves. While at Harvard, she has also co-led research pertaining to cultural adaptation, training, and implementation of evidence-based mental health interventions for survivors. Cordisco Tsai recently led data analysis from a 10-year longitudinal study with survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia pertaining to survivors’ perspectives on and recommendations for strengthening post-trafficking assistance services. Her work includes projects with UNICEF regarding research on violence against children and the sexual exploitation of boys globally. In addition to her research, Dr. Cordisco Tsai has worked for over fifteen years as a consultant and practitioner with a variety of NGOs in the anti-human trafficking sector. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Eleison Foundation, a private operating foundation advancing evidence-based, survivor-centered programs for survivors of human trafficking and GBV. She is the Board Chair for Healing and Resilience after Trauma, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting women and girls build resilience and heal from the psychological, physical, and social consequences of trauma. She holds a BA from Brown University (magna cum laude), MSSW and PhD from Columbia University, and received post-graduate training in trauma recovery and researching gender-based violence from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and Harvard University.