With a career devoted to international training and cultural exchange, Lauren served nine years as assistant director at a "conventional" agriculture exchange program before founding MESA. Alarmed by the increasing incidence of pesticide-related medical claims made by trainees, and inspired after speaking with an organic farmer, in 1994 Lauren incorporated the Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture, Inc. (MESA) to promote sustainable farming alternatives throughout the world. Lauren holds a B.A. in Russian Language & Literature from the University of New Hampshire at Durham, which sparked her initial interest to pursue a career in cross-cultural exchange. In 1996 Lauren successfully negotiated the lengthy, "Kafka-esque" designation process for J-1 Training and Cultural Exchange Program status with the United States Information Agency (now under the auspices of the U.S. Department of State), and has since acted as MESA's executive director. When not wearing her MESA hat, Lauren devotes time trying to answer that age old question of "Mommie, what's for dinner?" for her two sons, ages 9 and 12.