Katia has spent the last 20 years facilitating educational, international development, and leadership programs in more than 30 countries and with several First Nations around the world. Her primary work is as the Co-Director for Ecology of Leadership programs at the Regenerative Design Institute. She is also a founding member of the Heartstorm Collective, leads customized gratitude retreats, and is an Adjunct Professor of International Education Management at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. Katia’s primary areas of expertise include transformative learning, group facilitation, Indigenous wisdom practices, experiential education, leadership development, and global change.
Katia is available for private consulting in these areas, as well as for facilitation, speaking, editing and writing opportunities.
Katia’s work in the area of transformative education began with her own personal experience. Having grown up in New England, she experienced a transformative shift at the age of 17 that awakened her sense of global consciousness and cultivated in her a commitment to a life of service to humanity. This soon led her to Bolivia, South America, where she engaged in a year of volunteer work in a small rural Indigenous community in the Altiplano. She fell in love with the region, and returned to the US to undertake a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies at Stanford University. During that time she found every opportunity possible to travel overseas, including spending a summer in Nepal, six months in Brazil, another summer in Colombia volunteering for an educational NGO, and making trips to Ecuador, Venezuela, Argentina, Uruguay, South Africa, the Caribbean, and several countries in Europe. Throughout those travels, she was engaging primarily in cultural, education, and international development work, including undertaking an extensive study of Freirian education within the largest social movement in South America, the Brazilian Landless Peoples’ Movement (Movimento Sem Terra). While at Stanford, Katia also began her work in facilitating intercultural and interracial dialogue groups. The transformative impact of these circles for fostering interpersonal understanding became the subject of her master’s thesis in education. Katia completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and a minor in Spanish and Portuguese at Stanford in 2000. She then departed for Haifa, Israel where she dedicated herself to another two years of volunteer work with an international NGO, the International Teaching Centre , where she focused on education and training projects around the world.
Katia’s service path next led her to Calgary, Alberta, where she worked for Ghost River Rediscovery, a Canadian Aboriginal organization founded on principles of cultural rediscovery and reconnection to oneself, to the land, and to all people. As Coordinator for their International Youth Leadership Program, she helped grow the organization from one annual exchange project to six full scale international education and development projects around the world, including in Dominica, Guyana, Bolivia, and New Zealand, as well as in Canadian Aboriginal communities across western Canada. During this time she also participated in and became an alumni facilitator for Leadership Calgary, a local leadership development program.
Katia has a PhD in Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, with specializations in Comparative, International and Development Education and the Dynamics of Global Change, through the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education and the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. For this work she was named a William E. Taylor fellow by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the highest honor awarded to doctoral students in the social sciences in Canada, in additional to receiving several other prestigious grants and awards. She is the the author of several publications, is a co-editor for the text Comparative and International Education: Issues for Teachers and an assistant editor for a recent publication The Real Problem Solvers: Social Entrepreneurs in America, and has taught university courses in the areas of Aboriginal Studies, International Development Studies, and Comparative Education.
Katia holds additional certifications in Cultivating Women’s Leadership, Emotional Healing and Community Renewal (a year-long counselling training program), Leadership and Outdoor Education, Awakening the Divine Feminine, and participates in ceremonial practice and training with diverse Indigenous teachers.
Katia also loves singing, practicing yoga, nature connection, building intentional communities, and spending time with her two little boys Mateo and Jalen, ages 6 and 9. In addition to supporting others in their transformation and leadership development, her path is dedicated to cultivating her own authentic heart-centered leadership.