Skip to content


At the International Rescue Committee, Rebecca La-Touche is Negotiating Change

Written by Molly Forman on Jan 9, 2020

Related content: Strategic Partnerships, Digital Education

More than 70 million people worldwide are uprooted by crisis. For the International Rescue Committee (IRC), this isn’t a statistic—it’s a call to action. As a world-leading humanitarian organization, the IRC has spent 85 years and counting helping victims of conflict and disaster gain control of their future.

With a powerful, purpose-driven mission, we knew the IRC was an organization worth getting behind. By offering scholarships to 2U-powered graduate programs and short courses, we’re helping IRC employees maximize the impact they’re making on the world.

Among these employees is Rebecca La-Touche, IRC’s head of philanthropy, who recently completed the London School of Economics (LSE) Negotiation Programme. We sat down with Rebecca to learn how lessons gained in the classroom are inspiring global change—one life at a time.

You have a storied history of philanthropy work. What inspired your decade-long career in the charity sector?

I’ve always had a strong interest in the world around me and wanted a career in something that really made a difference—I wanted to do something to make a change. Through working in philanthropy, I have been able to pursue something close to my heart whilst also being able to deploy my academic experience and develop skills.   

Fundraising seems to be a theme throughout your work experience. What is it about securing gifts that gets you out of bed each morning?

Philanthropy is a powerful driving force with an increasingly important role in today’s world. It allows organizations like the IRC to innovate and take risks, making things possible that otherwise couldn’t have been achieved—whether that’s a new idea or a program that has a great capability to deliver change. It’s incredibly satisfying to work with people who care about social change and making a difference, and it’s really gratifying to see the impact our work has on the world.

As head of philanthropy at the IRC, what does your role entail?

I act as a relationship manager, leading strategy to engage philanthropic individuals in the work the IRC does every day. I work closely with our wonderful supporters to help them learn about the IRC’s work–sometimes witnessing it firsthand–and connect their philanthropy with projects delivering truly transformative impact. My job requires an intellectual understanding of what the IRC delivers and social acumen to build relationships with our supporters.

You recently had the opportunity to take a GetSmarter short course through IRC’s partnership with 2U. Why did you choose the LSE Negotiation Programme? What were your goals in taking the short course?

Negotiation is an everyday part of my job. I wanted to enhance success in my role by improving the impact I'm having in those scenarios. My goals were to understand the drivers of negotiation, learn what motivates different parties in negotiations, and gain strategies for success. I met those goals and then some.

And now you’re a recent grad—congratulations! What were your three biggest takeaways from the negotiation short course?

I learned that preparation is essential for negotiations—without that, your chances of success are slimmed down. Second, you need to understand the party you’re negotiating with. And third, you need to have a really clear understanding of what your goal is—this way, you’re able to draw your own lines in the sand. I’ve already started using the processes and strategies I learned in the course to help me prepare for negotiations at the IRC.

Have you always wanted to continue your education? Why now?

I’ve always enjoyed learning, and I think it’s really important to develop new skills. Education enables you to grow in ways that otherwise may not have been possible. The LSE Negotiation Programme exposed me to new ideas outside of the charity sector, which was really useful given that I negotiate with business people on a daily basis—so there was a really nice alignment there.

What surprised you about the LSE Negotiation Programme? Anything you didn’t expect?

There was a really high level of interaction, which can be difficult to find in an online course. For every module, there were videos led by professors that were delivered in bite-sized chunks. You could engage in interactive quizzes as you went along the journey through the course, and every week there was an online forum where you could connect with coursemates to share how you’d been using new negotiation skills in the real world.

How was your short course experience? Would you recommend the LSE Negotiation Programme to others?

It was a really good experience. LSE is a fantastic institute, and the teaching always met a high standard. The program is flexible enough that you can spend more time focusing on the skills that you really want to develop further. It’s highly practical too, since you’re able to apply these negotiation skills to the real world. I definitely recommend this course to others—the time commitment was worth it.


Built for the Long Run: 4 Transformative Ways an MHA Impacted Eric Johnson’s Life

Learn more about what it's like to take an online master of health administration degree from MHA@GW graduate Eric Johnson

Jan 23, 2020·Molly Forman

News & Press

Arizona State University and Trilogy Education Launch Cybersecurity Boot Camp in Phoenix

We're proud to announce the launch of a cybersecurity boot camp in partnership with Arizona State University’s (ASU) Continuing & Professional Education

Jan 23, 2020·2U


Walking the Walk: How 2U's Maintaining a Culture of Inclusion

Today, 2U was recognized in Bloomberg's 2020 Gender-Equality Index. Here's why one 2Ute believes this matters.

News & Press

2U, Inc. Selected for 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index for its Leadership in Advancing Women in the Workplace

2U was named to the 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index (GEI), recognizing companies dedicated to transparency in gender-data reporting

Jan 21, 2020·2U

Partner Spotlight

Pepperdine’s Thema Bryant-Davis and the Reinvention of a Modern Therapist

Dr. Thema Bryant-Davis is a Duke PhD, ordained minister, psychologist, Pepperdine University professor, author, editor, dancer, poet—and a very new kind of listener.

Jan 16, 2020·Molly Forman


Stitching Ahead: Meredith Culler’s Road to an MBA

Meredith Culler found herself at a career crossroads, and MBA@UNC helped her navigate her future

Jan 14, 2020·Molly Forman


At the International Rescue Committee, Rebecca La-Touche is Negotiating Change

As the first short course graduate through 2U's IRC scholarship program, Rebecca La-Touche shares the lessons she learned.

Jan 9, 2020·Molly Forman


A More Affordable Way to Pay for Higher Education

Take a look inside 2U and EdAid’s deferred tuition partnership.

Jan 7, 2020·Molly Forman


Mohammed Wardeh Needed a Second Chance–with Trilogy, He Got One

How a boot camp graduate became a full-time software engineer at Trilogy

Jan 2, 2020·Stephen Eichinger

News & Press

2U, Inc. Launches Partnership with the International Rescue Committee

2U announced a new Purpose Partnership with the IRC to offer scholarships to their employees.

Dec 19, 2019·2U


Hi, We're 2U.

Welcome to 2U, Inc.'s new website

Dec 18, 2019·David Sutphen


The First Catch: Two Midwives, a Baby, and a Lifelong Friendship

How a clinical placement in New Mexico altered the lives of two Georgetown University alumni

Dec 18, 2019·Molly Forman

News & Press

2U, Inc. Appoints Jennifer Ogden-Reese as Chief Marketing Officer

2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), a global leader in education technology, announced the appointment of Jennifer Ogden-Reese as its new Chief Marketing Officer.

Oct 30, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. Appoints Paul S. Lalljie as Chief Financial Officer

2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), a global leader in education technology, announced the appointment of Paul S. Lalljie as the company’s Chief Financial Officer.

Oct 16, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. and Rochester Institute of Technology Partner to Deliver Online Master of Architecture

This is 2U’s first architecture offering and represents a new vertical for the company

Oct 7, 2019·2U

News & Press

St. John Fisher College and 2U, Inc. Partner to Deliver New Hybrid Doctorate of Pharmacy

This will be the first online or hybrid Pharm.D. pathway offered by an institution in the state of New York

Sep 30, 2019·2U

News & Press

Syracuse University, 2U, Inc. Partner to Offer Online Master’s Degree in Social Work

With this agreement, 2U now supports 15 online graduate degrees for Syracuse University and a series of GetSmarter short courses

Sep 12, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. Announces Zero Interest Deferred Tuition Plan

Simmons University School of Nursing will be Inaugural Partner to Offer Student Friendly Plan

Sep 12, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. and Keypath Education Join Emerson College to Deliver Online MA in Digital Marketing and Data Analytics

This program marks the first 2U-Keypath joint initiative since the two companies announced an alliance in February 2019

Sep 12, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. Announces Industry-Leading Framework For Transparency

Call for greater visibility in online program management industry will help inform and empower students, universities, and policymakers

Sep 11, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U, Inc. Announces its First Online Undergraduate Degree Program in Partnership with the University of London

New affiliation provides students access to London School of Economics and Political Science’s world-renowned faculty and curriculum

Aug 5, 2019·2U

News & Press

2U Teams up with LinkedIn

2U Provides Complimentary Access to LinkedIn Premium Career; LinkedIn Career Pathways Insights to Benefit 2U Partner Universities and their Students

Feb 6, 2019·2U

News & Press

WeWork Partners With 2U to Make Higher Education More Accessible

WeWork just turned its global network of workspaces into a community for learning and made it easier for WeWork members and employees to access graduate-level degrees and courses, thanks to a partnership with online education company 2U

Jan 22, 2019·2U


The Decade Ahead Promises Great Change in Higher Education

The decade ahead for higher education will be one of great change for colleges, according to a new survey of university deans, two-thirds of whom say their institutions will look much different ten years from now.

Jun 21, 2017·Jeffrey Selingo


Navigating a Marketing World with Too Much Data

Data-driven marketers are tasked with the job of getting out the right message to the right audience at the right time in order to attract the right consumers for a desired outcome.

Jun 5, 2017·Molly Forman


Education Investment As Tech Advances

Invest in Education To Keep Up With The Speed of Technological Advancements

May 16, 2017·Lord David WiIlletts


The Hidden Value of Corporate Philanthropy

A competitive salary. Health benefits. A hip workspace. These are all elements in attracting and retaining a stellar workforce.

Apr 19, 2017·2U


Visualizing Achievement

Data visualization has become a powerful tool for understanding trends in education.

Mar 28, 2017·2U


If You Build It, They Will Work

Companies are turning to office design as a way to attract and retain top talent, the days of cubicle-farms — like a scene out of Office Space — are over.

Mar 15, 2017·2U


How Companies Use Tech to Boost CSR

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has changed along with the mindset of today’s employees. According to a 2014 Nielson study, millennials are significantly more responsive to CSR, not only when it comes to consumption but also in making employment decisions.

Mar 5, 2017·2U


Building the University Brand

More than 4,700 degree-granting colleges and universities currently compete for prospective students’ attention.

Mar 5, 2017·2U


Data for Good: The Future of Data Science

When people hear “data science,” their minds typically go to big business and tech giants using data to make money and further their businesses.

Mar 5, 2017·2U


Revitalizing American Cities in the Digital Age

Why college students choose to relocate varies. For some, it’s employment opportunities or the cost of living. For others, it’s the desire to live closer to family, change climates, or pursue a particular recreational activity.

Mar 5, 2017·2U

Partner Spotlight

Diversity and the Leadership Pipeline in Academia

Of the 1.5 million full-time faculty teaching in 2013 at degree-granting postsecondary colleges and universities, six percent were black, four percent Hispanic, and 10 percent Asian/Pacific Islander.

Mar 5, 2017·2U