Natalia joined the Harvard FXB Center from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), with a wealth of global health and development experience having worked in the UN system since 2007. Most recently, she led UNDP’s work on addressing complex challenges at the nexus of health and environment, looking especially at the vulnerability of poor and marginalized communities to climate change. Natalia developed the strategy for UNDP’s engagement in this new area of work, fostering closer collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO), and established relationships with academic partners and funders, including the Planetary Health Alliance, the Wellcome Trust and the European Commission.
Previously, as a policy specialist and speechwriter in the executive offices of UNDP and at the United Nations Economic & Social Commission for Western Asia in Lebanon, Natalia analyzed and translated complex development trends into politically relevant communication pieces to articulate the value, purpose, and strategic relevance of the organizations. As Science Advisor in the Commissioner’s Office at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, she helped shape strategy around several key initiatives, including serving as focal point on ThriveNYC, the Mayor’s $800 million citywide mental health initiative.
Natalia is a three-time Harvard University graduate, earning her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, Master of Science in Social Epidemiology, and Doctor of Science in Social Epidemiology here. She also holds a Certificate in Forced Migration from Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre. She speaks Greek fluently and has basic conversational skills in Arabic, Spanish and French.