Natasha M. Cavanaugh, J.D.


Natasha M. Cavanaugh, J.D., builds and advises strategic partnerships for good. She is Associate General Counsel at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation – one of the world’s largest private foundations with an endowment exceeding $40 billion. The Gates Foundation strives to support the wellbeing of individuals and communities across the globe, from the education of students in Chicago to the health of a young mother in Nigeria. Natasha supports the foundation’s efforts to significantly increase the number of black, Latino, and low-income students who earn a diploma, enroll in a postsecondary institution and are on track in their first year to obtain a credential with labor-market value.


Prior to joining the Gates Foundation, Natasha served as legal counsel for the University of Cincinnati. In that role, she managed the legal office responsible for the academic health center, including partnerships with Cincinnati’s only hospital dedicated to serving uninsured patients and advancing the University’s efforts in 5 core neighborhoods. In addition to her work with the academic medical center and community improvement efforts, Natasha worked with the UC Foundation in connection with its $1 billion fundraising campaign. Natasha started her career in private practice at Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, where she created and advised more than 30 nonprofits, including the nation’s largest corporate foundation dedicated to women’s causes globally. Because of her deep expertise in tax law, the charitable sector, and social change, Natasha is a sought-after speaker and organizational leader. She has served on numerous nonprofit and governmental boards, including the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities, Lighthouse Youth Services, and Sasha Bruce Youthwork. Natasha earned her law degree from the University of Virginia and her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in economics and sociology from Stanford University.

Sign Up for Maryland Nonprofits Updates

A-Z resource on nonprofit best practices

Advocating for the interests of families and youth

Unifying efforts across Maryland to support all Latino and immigrant populations.

Promoting a thriving and effective nonprofit sector