Natasha A. Durkins

Cues and Views

Champion of authenticity Natasha Durkins, in brief.

Natasha A. Durkins

Home: Washington, D.C.  Age: 48.  Profession: Motivator, leader, writer.  Organization: Federal Aviation Administration.  Title: Acting Deputy Vice President, Mission Support.  Significant other: My husband, Edwaun.  Alma mater: Began at Howard University (the REAL HU) and graduated from George Mason University.  Go Patriots!

Current project: Writing my first book!  Recent recognition: I’m humbled to have been recognized on LinkedIn by a colleague as an inspirational leader.  Latest contribution to others: Lunch ‘n Learn talk with interns: Using Your Values to Change the World.  What’s been your big (or biggest leap)? Public speaking.  When a speaker slot unexpectedly opened, I developed and delivered a 90-minute workshop on women’s leadership for hundreds attending the Professional Women Controllers, Inc. 2021 annual national training conference.  Hobbies: All things related to fashion; books on Audible, Netflix binges and trying new restaurants.  Last book read: Fearless: The New Rules for Unlocking Creativity, Courage, and Success, by Rebecca Minkoff.  Recent unique acquisition: My pink velvet-covered journal with a magnetic closure, which feeds my stationary addiction!

Personality profile: Talkative, funny, curious, reflective.  What one word would your closest friend use to describe you? Compassionate.  Moral compass: Definitely the Golden Rule.  What is your greatest joy? Spending time with my loved ones.  What is your guilty pleasure? Red Swedish fish (the mini ones)!  What word or phrase do you use far too often? We have to be intentional about… What occupation, other than your own, do you most admire? Parenting and activism.  What is your go-to workout? HITT class at Orangetheory Fitness.  It hurts, but I feel proud and energetic afterwards.  

What was your first paying job? Working in the family business.  I argued I was under paid and ended up with a raise earning more than my three older brothers.  What book have you repeatedly read? The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho.  What’s prominently featured on your home or office wall? Three reminders: Be kind, hustle, and reduce the lapse between thought and action. What’s the best advice you received in your career? If you’re invited to sit at the table, make sure you speak.  What modern technology innovation do you most appreciate? My Nespresso machine.  What is your favorite app? I’m learning to meditate, so right now it’s the Calm app. What personal circumstance has had the greatest influence on your life? My mom’s passing when I was 20.  I’m grateful for how much she taught me and the resilience I have as a result.

What is your big idea?

Exposing children to culture and a world beyond their own helps inspire them to dream bigger for themselves.

What change are you working on to effect in your profession or field? Greater diversity and inclusion.  What change would you like to see in the world? People embracing the value and beauty of our differences rather than judging others because of them.  What message do you want to send out into the world? Start with kindness and assume positive intent.  What mega-trend most excites you? Often due to influence from millennials, Gen Xers like me are inspired to pivot to careers that fulfill us.

Who would you like to spend an evening with, in heaven? My mom ️❤️.  As a kid, what did you first want to be when you grew up? A criminal defense attorney.  What major would you choose if you were starting college again today? Fashion design and merchandising.  How would you choose to spend tomorrow, if you knew it was your last day on earth? I’d get all my loved ones together for a day trip to NYC with great eats (including fresh roasted peanuts from a street cart), shopping and a Broadway show.  What advice would you give your younger self? Choose now to show up as yourself rather than what others want you to be.  What period in your life would you do differently, if you could? My early thirties, when I often diminished my own ability to be successful.

Personal mission: Helping people embrace their authenticity, curating a life that gives them joy. Personal motto: Don’t let your falls influence your climb.  Favorite quote: “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service” (Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.).  Desired epitaph: She inspired the best in others.

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