Ms Tara Cookson (2011)
I am a gender and international development researcher and consultant. I completed PhD studies at the University of Cambridge Geography Department, as a Gates Cambridge Scholar and a member of Wolfson College. My work focuses on gender and development, inequality, feminist political economy, and geography. My doctoral research asked how low-income women in rural Peru are impacted by conditional cash transfer programs, termed by the Economist "the world's favourite new anti-poverty device". In 2013 I founded a leadership training program to support multi-disciplinary, aspiring leaders with practical skills. Called Learning for Purpose, the program is now a foundational element of the Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and I received the Bill Gates Sr award for this work. I have previously worked as a project developer for community-based human rights organizations in both Canada and Latin America, collaborating on planning and executing campaigns and projects to promote the interests and wellbeing of low-income and otherwise marginalized communities in five countries. I enjoy public speaking and consulting on global development and women in leadership.