Interim Executive Director
Natalie Finstad will join LDI as Interim Executive Director on June 1, 2016 to provide strategic direction and leadership for the organization.
Natalie’s heart for God and God’s people began as a young girl in Houston, Texas where her dad read Bible stories to Natalie and her four younger sisters around the kitchen table every evening. Her mom, Sedonia, took her daughters to visit retirement communities, serve meals to people experiencing homelessness and volunteer to paint/clean old homes. Their example nurtured within her a desire to not only profess Jesus’s compassion but to demonstrate it through one’s life.
This desire further developed in 2009 when Natalie worked as a Community Organizing Fellow with Life Together, Boston’s Episcopal Service Corp program. Life Together was partnering with the Leading Change Network to teach young adults how Marshall Ganz’s community organizing skills could be used to achieve the Church’s mission of reconciliation. It was through this program that Natalie experienced how community organizing can achieve justice in the world while simultaneously developing in individuals an awareness of God’s love and power in us. This experience played a foundational role in developing Natalie’s hope for the Church’s ability to be a powerful force for individual and societal healing in our world today.
Since then Natalie has helped lead community organizing movements in Boston, Texas, New Zealand and most prominently Nairobi, Kenya where she co-founded Tatua Kenya, an organization that addresses poverty through locally-led justice movements. Natalie is an Episcopal Church Fellow and the current Lead Organizer of Katallasso, a national movement in the Church that calls the Church back to our core mission of reconciliation. She is currently a postulant for the vocational diaconate in the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.
Natalie is also an experienced trainer and teacher of leadership and community organizing. She has taught under Marshall Ganz at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and frequently works as a guest trainer/facilitator for nonprofits and faith based communities.