The 21st Century Leader Award
Ms. Lauren Buitta
Founder & CEO of Girl Security
Lauren is founder and CEO of Girl Security. Lauren began her career in national security in Chicago, IL in 2003 as a policy analyst with the National Strategy Forum, a nonpartisan national security think tank. In 2009 while attending law school, Lauren launched her consulting firm, Stele Consulting, which advised clients on urban security and policy challenges. In this role, Lauren managed one of the largest federal lawsuits ever filed against the City of Chicago for civil rights violations and systemic racism.
In 2016, Lauren recognized both the continued underrepresentation of women in national security and the need for a more intersectional approach to security. In response, she launched Girl Security - the only organization dedicated to preparing girls, women, and gender minorities for national security.
Lauren is a former Fellow with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (2003), Truman National Security Project (2006), American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security (2012) and Chicago Council on Global Affairs (2017). She has authored articles, reports and book chapters on national security, foreign policy, and public policy. In February 2021, Lauren was named one of “50 Women Making the World a Better Place” by Instyle Magazine.