Lauren Bean Buitta is founder and CEO of Girl Security, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization building equitable pathways in national security for girls, women, and gender minorities. Lauren began her career in national security in Chicago, IL in 2003 as a policy analyst with the National Strategy Forum, where she specialized in national security law. Through a consulting firm she founded in 2009, Lauren led research and analysis in support of a federal whistleblower lawsuit against the City of Chicago for civil rights violations vis-à-vis the city’s land use and zoning laws.
In 2016, Lauren recognized both the localized impacts of more pervasive security challenges, including disinformation, and the continued underrepresentation of women across national security pathways and the need for an intersectional approach to security. In response, she launched Girl Security. Girl Security is the only organization providing identity-centered learning, training, and professional development for those interested in national security pathways, beginning in high school.
Lauren is a former Junior 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. In November 2021, Lauren was awarded the 21st Century Leader Award by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy.