Meet our Staff: Katie Padilla, MA, PMP

Katie is a Director at FoodMinds in our Washington DC office. Katie is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with a passion for sustainability who brings over 15 years of experience to the team. Her areas of expertise include building and implementing sustainability assessment programs and communicating clients’ sustainability stories and performance to engage with a variety of audiences. She earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration, marketing for the University of Notre Dame and her master’s degree in global environmental policy from American University’s School of International Service (SIS).


How would you describe your role in one sentence? 

I advise large clients in the food and agriculture industry on the intersection of sustainability and nutrition and help them develop and implement effective communications strategies to engage with key stakeholders.


What is your favorite part of your job?

I really enjoy focusing on the intersection of food, sustainability and nutrition. This is such a critical, challenging area and I am passionate about working with clients on strategies and solutions to address the need to feed a rapidly growing global population while balancing trade-offs between all of the dimensions of sustainability. I also love having the opportunity to continuously learn from smart, committed team members and clients from diverse backgrounds.


What are three things on your bucket list? 

  1. Visit every continent (I haven’t been to Africa or Antarctica yet)
  2. Go shark diving
  3. Travel internationally with our kids and share some of our favorite international food experiences, such as enjoying paella in Sevilla, sushi near the fish market in Tokyo, and Peruvian food high in the Andes mountains.


What’s the best piece of life advice you’ve received? 

As a working mother, I am constantly trying to balance family time while still advancing my career. A dear former colleague of mine recommended I read “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” by Anne-Marie Slaughter. This essay resonated strongly with me and I find it helpful to remind myself that it’s not only ok, but important to integrate the different parts of my life in order to achieve career goals, support my family, and grow individually. I believe that it is important to be both flexible and cognizant of sequencing and timing to achieve career and family goals. FoodMinds has provided an outstanding environment in which to work towards multiple goals.


One thing people are surprised to learn about me is:

I found “Nemo” and swam with sea turtles while earning my open water scuba certification in the Great Barrier Reef with my husband. It was an incredible experience and I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to see this natural wonder.