Meet the 2023 Boards and Commissions Fellowship Cohort


Laura Villegas

Laura Villegas is a Colombian immigrant. She grew up in a small town in the Colombian Andes and now lives in Nampa. Laura came to the United States with an athletic scholarship and lived in Montana for 6.5 years. She spent another 6.5 years between North Carolina and Washington DC.

Driven by her experience growing up in a country with deep structural inequities, staggering economic and political inequality, widespread corruption and abuse of power, and permanent instances of violence against social and environmental leaders, Laura focused on gaining expertise in environmental sustainability and democratic social development during those 13 years.

Laura moved to Idaho in 2020 during the pandemic to be close to her family. Now she wants to make Idaho her home and contribute with her energy and experience to the genuine efforts of community building.

Laura has a PhD in environmental economics and other degrees in economics and political sciences. Today, she works remotely for a non-profit based in Tacoma, WA. In her current position, Laura gets to work with community-based organizations from all over the country, as well as with Tribes and government agencies in helping them advance their efforts on topics of social equity, resilience, and environmental justice and sustainability. 

Laura hopes to open a chapter of her work in the state of Idaho and explore collaborations with local organizations and local movements. She believes her work can assist in shaping narratives, inform strategies, and empower grass-root movements to help build a healthy community of members connected to nature and supportive of other community members.


Laura loves mountains and her family most of all.