Laura S. H. Holgate was the United States of America Ambassador to the United Nations from 2016 to 2017. While she was NSC Senior Director for WMD Terrorism and Threat Reduction, she and Gary Samore first implemented Gift basket diplomacy.
Holgate was educated at Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology resulting in a master's degree in political science before she went to work at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University.
The United States first implemented Gift basket diplomacy in the Nuclear Security Summit process between the 2010 Nuclear Security Summit and 2012 Nuclear Security Summit. National Security Council (NSC) Director for Nuclear Threat Reduction Shawn Gallagher is credited with conceiving and first proposing Gift basket diplomacy while Holgate who was then the NSC Senior Director for WMD Terrorism and Threat Reduction worked with the White House WMD Czar Gary Samore to first implement the policy.
In 2016 she was made the United States Ambassador to the United Nations International Organizations in Vienna. Importantantly she was also America's representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency and the other significant UN offices in Vienna. During 2016 she was given a Nunn-Lugar Trailblazer Award for reducing the risk of nuclear war. The other recipients were Dr. Gloria Duffy, Dr. Susan Koch and Ms. Jane Wales. She served until January 2017.
In November 2018 she introduced the ideas of International Gender Champions into nuclear policy.
In 2020 she was Vice President for Materials Management at the Washington-based Nuclear Threat Initiative.
She and her husband live in Arlington, Virginia.