Laura Pitter, senior national security counsel in Human Rights Watch's US Program, monitors US national security policy and advocates for human rights compliant practices. Prior to joining Human Rights Watch, Laura was a journalist, human rights advocate, and attorney who practiced in both the public and private sectors. She was a reporter during the war in Bosnia where she wrote for Time Magazine and Reuters News Agency among other media outlets. Following the war she worked for the United Nations in both Bosnia and post Sept. 11-Afghanistan as a protection and political affairs officer. After Afghanistan, Laura practiced law for eight years, first as a public defender and later with a product liability law firm, both in New York. Laura holds a bachelor's degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara, a master's in international affairs from Columbia University, and a law degree from the University of San Francisco.