Laura Wharton, originally from the U.S., received a B.A. with honors in the Government Department of Harvard University before immigrating to Israel. She received an M.A. in Russian and Slavic Studies and Ph.D. in political science, both at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, writing a thesis on the social ideology and policy of the Israeli Labor Party, 1965-1977 advised by Prof. Itzhak Galnoor and Prof. Shlomo Avineri. Wharton was a doctoral fellow of the Hoffman Program for Leadership and Responsibility at the Hebrew University, has received grants from Yad Tabenkin, the Levi Eshkol Institute, and the Tal Foundation for research on social policy and teaches in the political science department at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. In addition, she is a lifelong political activist and today serves as a member of Jerusalem's City Council and the head of the opposition.