NATALKA HARAS / ON ACCEPTING IMPERFECTION & TRUSTING ONE'S GUT


Natalka is currently the Director of Development at the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation, where she is responsible for refining and growing the Foundation's fundraising programs. She also works with her husband, artist and jeweller Dimitri Gagnon Morris, on the early stages of their fine jewellery and art business. 

Her passions include philanthropy, entrepreneurship, building effective teams, and helping young professionals make courageous and aware choices for their career and life. Having lived all her life with Dandy-Walker Syndrome, possible PHACE Syndrome, blindness in one eye and a facial haemangioma, she believes in advocating for people living with uncommon congenital conditions. 

In the community, Natalka serves on the Quebec Board of the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award - a non-competitive, internationally recognized program designed to encourage young people to develop positive skills and lifestyle habits.

She has also worked and volunteered with universities, museums, and arts, culture, youth leadership, and international development organizations in capacities relating to strategy, advocacy, project management, public relations, team-building, communications, events, and fundraising. Internationally, her experience includes stints at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, at Sciences-Po in Paris, at the Associated Press in Brussels, and on various projects in Ukraine.

Before moving into the field of institutional advancement, she practiced administrative and public law as well as employment litigation at Baker & McKenzie LLP's Toronto office. While articling, she clerked for the Honourable Mr. Justice Marc Nadon at the Federal Court of Appeal of Canada.

And congratulations to Natalka, who in late 2016 will be starting her maternity and parental leave!



"Being A DECENT PERSON IS GOING TO TAKE YOU FAR IN YOUR CAREER. I TRULY BELIEVE THAT. YOUR REPUTATION DOES MATTER AND PEOPLE DO TALK. BEING SOMEONE WHO'S EASY TO WORK WITH AND A TEAM PLAYER - THAT'S IMPORTANT."

Easter 2015 with her husband, Dimitri.

Easter 2015 with her husband, Dimitri.

"PEOPLE HAVE STUFF GOING ON IN THEIR LIVES ALL THE TIME. YOUR WORK IS IMPORTANT, AND YOU DO THE BEST YOU CAN, BUT PEOPLE MIGHT BE DIVORCING, PEOPLE MIGHT BE HAVING HEALTH ISSUES. REAL LIFE IS MESSY. SO DON't EXPECT THAT YOUR LIFE IS GOING TO BE PERFECT. AND IT's TRUE - YOU CAN STILL DO VERY WELL AND NOT BE PERFECt."

Natalka in France while on exchange at Sciences-Po. Photo taken during an excursion to Bourgogne with some fellow McGill friends.

Natalka in France while on exchange at Sciences-Po. Photo taken during an excursion to Bourgogne with some fellow McGill friends.

"iF YOU FOCUS ON THE STUFF THAT YOU ENJOY AND THAT YOU'RE NATURALLY GOOD AT, I THINK THAT's GOING TO SERVE YOU WELl."

Natalka riding a horse while on holiday in Mongolia (2012).

Natalka riding a horse while on holiday in Mongolia (2012).

"FOR ME IT CAME DOWN TO GETTING STRAIGHT ON WHAT YOU VALUED, AND THINKINg "WHAT DO I WANT MY LIFE TO LOOK LIKE"?"