FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award Recipient Dr. Linda Laras
SAN JUAN, PR—The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announces the selection of Dr. Linda Laras as recipient of the 2018 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). On Friday, February 8, 2019, Special Agent In Charge (SAC) Douglas Leff presented Dr. Laras with the award at the FBI office in San Juan, Puerto Rico. On Friday, May 3, 2019, FBI Director Christopher Wray will present Dr. Laras with the award during a formal ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington D.C. The Community Leadership Award was created in 1990 to honor individuals and organizations for their efforts in combating crime, terrorism, drugs, and civil rights education and prevention. The FBI presents the award to community leaders who have demonstrated outstanding contributions to their local communities through service.
Dr. Laras, an Obstetrician & Gynecologist, is highly recognized by the law enforcement community in Puerto Rico as being one of the top sexual assault forensic experts on the island. For over 20 years, Dr. Laras has worked on large scale crime prevention efforts focusing on sexual violence and assault awareness. Her extensive community awareness and education campaigns have reached over 100,000 individuals to include persons with disabilities, college students, immigrants, and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. These efforts led Dr. Laras to establish the private organizations “Project Women’s Health Steps” and the “Puerto Rico Health Justice Center,” which, to this day, continues to provide interdisciplinary services to women, adolescents, and children of sexual violence.
Dr. Laras’ comprehensive forensic expertise has been vital in the identification and prosecution of sexual assault cases. Serving in the “Subject Matter Expert” capacity for health care professionals and members of the judicial branch, Dr. Laras has rendered her expert opinion at over 40 local legislative hearings, which has resulted in the improvement of current forensic practices on sexual violence.
Dr. Laras’ relentless efforts to eradicate sexual violence from our communities as well as her achievements in this field is exemplary, and it is an honor for the San Juan Field Office to have Dr. Laras receive such prestigious recognition.
ASAC Angel Catalan, Dr. Linda Laras and SAC Douglas Leff during the award presentation at the FBI Office in San Juan, Puerto Rico.