HU Employee Spotlight: Katrina Gordon
At Humanity United, we are proud to work with a talented and dedicated team that brings curiosity, empathy and creativity to our commitment to create a world with greater peace and dignity.
Each month, we will highlight one of our team members and invite you to meet the individuals that make so much of our work possible.
Name & position?
Katrina Gordon, Program Manager
Have you had any unusual pets?
Nothing too unusual, just Polar and Bear, two dogs that acted like humans!
What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
I’m in a poetry club and every week I pick a different writer to explore and share my favorite pieces from. A few favorites include Yrsa Daley-Ward (based out of the Bay Area), Wisława Szymborska (1996 Nobel Prize winner who grew up in Nazi held Poland), and Tracy K Smith (current American Poet Laureate).
What do you do for fun?
Dancing and spending time outside are my lifeblood. Most nights you can find me in ballet, Gaga, hip hop, or contact improv classes and on the weekends off in the woods hiking, camping, backpacking and rock climbing. Creating community is important to me, and I love bringing people together for backyard documentary showings and art nights.
What was your first job?
California Real Estate agent during college. In the Gordon family, everyone gets their license when they turn 18!
What is the most adventurous thing you’ve done?
In 2013, I quit my stable corporate job to move to Kenya! It started as a 4-month fellowship with Kiva to learn about microfinance in developing markets and turned into 2 years of incredible experience with innovative social enterprises and lots of travel across the continent (including living out of a truck in South Africa for the summer!).
Favorite travel location?
I’ll give three shout-outs:
Hell’s Gate Park, Kenya: it was the inspiration for the Lion King – you can climb Pride Rock!
The Otter Trail in South Africa: 6-day trail along the beautiful coast of South Africa, with shelters along the way. On one of the nights, you hike 4 hours in darkness along the cliffs to make the tide for a river crossing!
Huaraz, Peru: tropical glaciers, rock climbing on mountains overlooking the city, and alpine lakes like I’ve never seen before
Favorite food indulgence?
Passionfruit (aka Maracuya). While the crunch of the seeds and slimy consistency usually turn people away, I could easily eat 8-10 every day.
What is something about you that may surprise others?
I took 400 people to Yosemite! During business school, I was President of the Redwoods Outdoors Club, and we organized a trip for classmates, partners and families. While the event was logistically challenging, it was incredibly rewarding to take folks who had never gone camping before to experience one of the most beautiful places in the world, right in our backyard.
What are you most thankful for?
My family. My mother is a strong woman and daughter of Dutch immigrants who came to the US after the Holocaust. (Ask me and I’ll tell you the incredible story!) My father taught me how important it is to be kind in this world and to connect with others, and my brother is an inspiring athlete. Their love and support has allowed me to commit to working to make the world a better place.
What inspires you?
Our potential as humans to grow and change. Stories of good citizens, scrappy entrepreneurs, artists and individuals acting with courage to change the way we interact with others and the environment motivate me every day.