Laura Birner works for the U.S. Department of State and is currently the Office Manager for the Political Section at Embassy Hanoi. She previously supported the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey in Ankara from 2012-2015, and also served as a Program Assistant managing a variety of Stability Operations courses at the State Department’s Foreign Service Institute from 2008-2012. Additionally, she has experience in both the education and social work fields as she taught music at the Anglo-American School of Moscow and counselled students at the Twin Parks Upper School in the Bronx, New York prior to her government service. Laura earned a Bachelor of Arts in Oboe Performance from Indiana University and has performed with several orchestras throughout the Mid-West including the St. Louis Symphony. She is married to Timothy Birner who is also a State Department Foreign Service Officer. Together, they have three young daughters – Hannah, Heidi, and Holly.