Natalie Gonnella-Platts

Director, Global Policy
George W. Bush Institute

Natalie Gonnella-Platts has over 15 years of experience advancing research, policy, and programs in support of women and children worldwide.   

Her current work includes a focus on the rights and well-being of women and children in Afghanistan; the intersection of economic development, migration, and gender-based violence in regions like Central America; the agency and advancement of young women and adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa; and the link between democratic backsliding, autocratic regimes, and gender inequity. 

She is the host of the Bush Institute’s award nominated podcast, Ladies, First; the co-author of a first-of-its kind analysis on global first ladies, A Role Without a Rulebook; and served as a project lead on the development of the Bush Center’s 2018 and 2019 special exhibits. Her work has also been featured across a wide range of external outlets including the New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Chicago Tribune, USA TodayVanity FairThe Dallas Morning NewsReal Clear World, and Politico. 

Ms. Gonnella-Platts studied Communications and International Studies (Peace and Conflict) at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Fredonia. She earned an MA in War, Violence and Security studies from the University of Sussex in Brighton, United Kingdom.  Prior to her current role, she has held various positions in London and New York at organizations including BBC Worldwide, the Legatum Institute, and AIG, among others. 

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Read the article Forum on Leadership 2024: Voices of Freedom, with program introduction by Ken Hersh.
Apr 18, 2024

Forum on Leadership 2024: Voices of Freedom, with program introduction by Ken Hersh

Featuring: Natalie Gonnella-Platts, Joseph Kim, Ken Hersh
When freedom is under attack, oppressed people’s most powerful tool is often their voice and the voices of others. Brave individuals rise up and risk their safety and comfort to demand respect for human rights and speak truth to power every day. This panel features activists pushing back against authoritarian threats around the world.
Read the article Two-Minute Take: The Taliban profit while innocent Afghans suffer.
Apr 15, 2024

Two-Minute Take: The Taliban profit while innocent Afghans suffer

Featuring: Natalie Gonnella-Platts
Since retaking Afghanistan in 2021, the Taliban have focused on expanding their business opportunities. Taliban leaders are looking to increase their influence on the international stage and line their pocketbooks while the Afghan population, especially women and children, suffer greatly.