Laura Lane: When you shouldn’t follow the rules

About this talk: As a foreign affairs officer in Rwanda in 1994, 26-year-old Laura Lane rescued more than 250 Americans at the beginning of the genocide, but was forced to desert all of her local allies – whose work alongside her nearly guaranteed their death. Every day, she carries the heavy weight of this perceived abandonment, convinced she could have done more. Today, one lesson remains above the rest: sometimes, when the risk of regret is too great, following the rules isn’t worth it – and you need to write your own.

About this speaker

From 1990-1997, Laura Lane was a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, stationed at the American Embassy in Kigali, Rwanda, from 1993-1994. She led the evacuation effort of American citizens in April 1994 with the outbreak of civil war. Later, she returned as a political advisor to U.S. forces, providing humanitarian relief to Rwandan refugees. Lane currently serves as president of global public affairs for UPS. Prior to joining UPS, Laura was the head of international government affairs at Citigroup and VP for global public policy with Time Warner.

About this event

TED@UPS was a TED-curated event featuring a diverse group of speakers from across the UPS community. Jointly produced by TED and UPS, the event put a spotlight on ideas, projects and insights that will contribute to the importance of pushing forward through obstacles.
For more details on TED@UPS, visit

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