Laurie came to conservation through a circuitous route. She starting working as a veterinary technician, and eventually found herself running a wild animal park in the US. She fell in love with the cheetah, got herself a PhD on the subject, and in 1990, she moved to Namibia to set up the Cheetah Conservation Fund to make sure that the cheetah could thrive.
The cheetah is Africa's most endangered big cat, due to loss of habitat and prey and conflict with livestock farmers. Cheetah Conservation Fund helps farmers thrive as cheetahs thrive: to prevent predation, they help farmers find profitable crops, and develop products from the by-products of restoring cheetah habitats. Working side-by-side with farmers, Cheetah Conservation Fund uses an array of techniques to protect cheetahs and safeguard livestock, increasing farmer incomes but also improving cheetah conservation.