Program Officer, W. K. Kellogg Foundation
Natasha K. Hale was raised on the Navajo reservation in Twin Lakes, New Mexico. She began her career as a journalist in New Mexico and her reporting involved community impacts of various legislation, political frameworks and public policy implications in New Mexico. As a freelance writer, her articles featured everything from human interest stories to tribal governance for American Indian College Journal, Navajo Times and New Mexico Magazine. As a result of the impact of her reporting, she was asked to serve as a politically appointed legislative staff assistant for the Office of the Speaker of the Navajo Nation Council in Window Rock, Arizona and advised and guided public policy decisions in New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. During this time she also served as the Speakers Office representative on children, health and women issues.
In 2015, Natasha was appointed by the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition to lead a team that was responsible for the execution of their vision to protect 1.9 million acres of public lands in southeastern Utah, and served as a liaison between the five tribal governments and the Secretary of Interior's key staff. The coalition, spearheaded by Navajo, Hopi, Zuni, Ute Mountain Ute, and Ute Indian Tribe of the Uintah and Ouray tribal governments, was successful and on Dec. 28, 2016, President Barack Obama protected 1.3 million acres of sacred lands by presidential proclamation. It was the first successful tribally led land protection campaign that resulted in a national monument designation.
Natasha also co-founded the Native American Business Incubator Network, now Change Labs, in 2011 to support social entrepreneurs who are focused on building local economies that respect and uplift traditional values, and developed programming to initiate ecosystem shifts to drive a healthy economy. As the co-founder of Colorado Plateau Foundation, she has worked with grantees across northwest New Mexico and the greater Southwest to develop relevant programming and has worked to create a narrative that helps other grantmakers understand why investing in tribal communities and young leaders matters. She is the former Native American program director at the Grand Canyon Trust in Flagstaff, Arizona, and currently, she is a Program Officer for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In this role, she identifies and nurtures opportunities for affecting positive systemic change within communities and executes programming efforts that are aligned with the organizational direction. Natasha received her bachelor’s degree with a major in family studies and human development and minor in American Indian studies from the University of Arizona.