Natalie Ross

Vice President, External Relations
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Natalie Ross

In her role as Vice President for External Relations, Natalie leads a team that develops diverse and dynamic programming with foundations and partners in order to strengthen, advocate for, and amplify the work of foundations and their staff. Natalie oversees design and implementation of engagement strategies for all types of Council members, including communities of practice and thought leadership activities for community foundations, corporate grantmakers, and private foundations. In 2017, her team convened more than 900 foundation leaders at events held throughout the United States. Natalie also leads the Council's international program, which works to enable cross-border grantmaking globally, and manages a range of diverse partnerships with global philanthropy networks. 

Natalie regularly speaks for the Council at events and in the press about trends in philanthropy, especially regarding global issues and international grantmaking. She also authors blogs and articles about international philanthropy published in the Guardian, Huffington Post, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Alliance Magazine, and others. Since joining the Council in 2015, Natalie has led the Council's programming around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and authored several key reports on philanthropic trends, including From Global Goals to Local Impact: How Philanthropy Can Help Achieve the SDGs in the United States and Local Communities with Global Reach: International Giving by US Community Foundations.

Prior to joining the Council, Natalie worked at the Aga Khan Foundation USA, where she mobilized and managed a $30M portfolio of global civil society programs and launched the Global Alliance for Community Philanthropy. Natalie received her bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and has lived and worked abroad throughout her career, including as a primary school teacher in Kampala, Uganda and as a Fulbright fellow in South Africa. 

Natalie is a life-long dancer who loves to travel and comes from a matriarchy of Midwestern bakers. 

You should contact Natalie if you want to learn more about existing resources and trends in global philanthropy or to discuss Council initiatives that engage members and partners.