Chief Finance & Operations Officer, African Leadership Academy
Lara has over 15 years of broad experience in business strategy, operations and finance with a main focus on growing and improving the performance of companies.
She is currently the Chief Financial and Operating Officer for African Leadership Academy (ALA), a ground breaking organisation building the next generation of ethical and entrepreneurial African leaders. In the last 5 years she worked with the CEO to take the organisation from scrappy start-up to a stable scale-up with clear path to sustainability. As CFOO, she shapes and drives the strategic and operational direction of the business and also leads the Finance, Technology, Human Resources, Campus Development and Operations teams.
Prior to ALA she worked with some of the most successful Fortune 500 companies including Bank of America and McKesson Corporation. At McKesson, Lara was part of an accelerated leadership program that prepared her to become a well-rounded Finance and Business leader. She worked on a few strategic projects, one of which was to value and evaluate oncology practices to merge and integrate with newly acquired US Oncology business. Lara spent an extensive number of years in the banking industry in consumer, commercial and investment roles. Her last banking role was with Bank of America Credit Risk Management Group, assessing different product portfolios to reduce the impact of toxic assets during the 2008 financial crisis.
Lara received both her undergraduate degree in Business Economics and Accounting and MBA with focus on entrepreneurship and finance from University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).