Natalya Minchenko

Hubert H. Humphrey Fellow, Class of 2021

  • Home country: Belarus
  • College and degree: Bachelors in Jurisprudence Belarusian Institute of Law (Academy of Public Administration under the Aegis of the President of the Republic of Belarus), Degree in public administration - Minsk State Linguistics University (English)
  • Current positionSustainable Development Goals advisor - UNDP/UNICEF/UNFP project on 2030 Agenda, Minsk, Belarus
  • SpecializationSustainable development, environmental law
What is the most memorable or impactful experience of your career so far? 

Fighting against peat extraction on the protected areas was the most successful and the most challenging professional experience in my life so far. We developed a great campaign with NGOs and local communities to save protected areas. 

What impact do you want to make in your country?

I would love to make an impact on the main principle of the Sustainable Development Agenda — "Nobody Left Behind" — to be in place in Belarus. It is difficult but possible.

How do you think your Humphrey Fellowship and your time at Cornell will help boost your career? 

I am driven to be the best at what I do, and I know that some of the most progressive and innovative thinkers in the sustainable development sphere work in the USA. For that reason, I am excited to gain new knowledge in the USA. New knowledge and developed skills will help me to advocate for the inclusion of new approaches in the Belarus Sustainable Development Policy, which will guide me in my professional goal is to be an active player in promoting the 2030 agenda in Belarus.

What does public service mean to you?

I feel inspired when I work for the public good and I am committed to serving my country and my fellow human beings every day of my life. For me, public services means being a mentor, volunteer, organizer of charity events. I always open and share my knowledge and skills to help other people and save our environment.

Tell us a fun fact about you. 

I am sustainable fashion lover (especially clothes and bijou handmade from traditional/local elements).

What is your personal motto? 

Through hardships to the stars.

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