Natalie Gonnella-Platts serves as the Director of the Women's Initiative at the George W. Bush Institute. In this role, Natalie is responsible for research and programmatic efforts that support women and girls worldwide to lead in their communities and countries. This includes the work of the First Ladies Initiative, which aims to enable and support global First Ladies in effectively using their platforms to impact change. Additionally, 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 Institute’s 2018 and 2019 special exhibits. Her work has also been published or featured across a wide range of external outlets including the New York Times, the Washington Post, Vanity Fair, the Dallas Morning News, Real Clear World, Politico, Bustle, Refinery 29, among others.
Natalie 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 joining the Bush Institute, she held roles in New York City at American International Group (AIG), and in London at ConservativeHome USA, the Legatum Institute, and BBC Worldwide. She served as a member of Akola Project’s Advisory Council; a co-founder of Each Inc., a non-profit that seeks to provide innovative technology tools to organizations that care for and protect orphans and vulnerable children; and as a project strategy advisor to Stop the Traffik’s Finance Against Trafficking initiative.
A Role Without a Rulebook: The Influence and Leadership of Global First Ladies
Podcast: Ladies, First
Policy Recommendations: Investing in our Future
Policy Recommendations: Empowering Women Worldwide