George Washington University - Communications
University College London (UCL) - International Public Policy
Every so often we work on an I Want Her Job interview that reminds us to the core why we are dedicated to sharing inspirational “how I got there” stories. Anastasia Dellaccio embodies our ideal Leading Lady in every way imaginable. Not only does she lead outreach, communications, and special initiatives for the UN Foundation in D.C. through global cause , but she also co-owns her own wildly successful gelato business, Dolci Gelati, with her husband, Gianluigi.
Anastasia plays a leading role in two major UN Foundation initiatives: #GivingTuesday, a three-year-old collaborative holiday giving campaign; and +SocialGood, a global community of innovators, social entrepreneurs, and thought leaders. Both projects combine new technology, media, and innovative changemakers to help make the world a better place. We couldn’t think of a better pre-Thanksgiving interview, and we urge you to help spread the word and make a donation to your favorite cause on #GivingTuesday. We’ll be making a donation of our own, too!
I never wait for someone to delegate work to me; I find opportunities on my own and make things happen.
How did you discover your current job?
After studying international policy in London, I was very focused on working with a great organization focusing on development. The UN Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems in such incredibly creative and innovative ways. I knew immediately that it was the perfect place to take my skill set and passion for helping the world to the next level. I had my heart set on working with the UN Foundation, and after applying for more than four positions with the organization, I finally landed the one of my dreams.
What responsibilities do you have in your role?
The main purpose of my job is to connect individuals and organizations with the work of the UN and the UN Foundation and find ways in which we can collaborate.
I also help to run our special initiatives such as #GivingTuesday, which follows the widely-recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and kicks off the holiday giving season with a global day dedicated to charitable giving. #GivingTuesday harnesses the power of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities.
Another project I help lead is +SocialGood, a global community of innovators, social entrepreneurs, and thought leaders united around a shared vision: leveraging the power of technology and new media to make the world a better place.
Both initiatives help me to connect with great people around the world who are doing amazing work to improve their local and global communities. My job is to find those people and organizations and help to amplify their great work however I can.
In addition to my work with the UN Foundation, I try to make the world a bit sweeter every day with my business. Dolci Gelati is an artisan gelato company that I co-own with my husband, Gianluigi, who is an artistic pastry genius from Napoli, Italy. We take pride in sourcing and mixing the freshest all-natural ingredients with exotic flavors and an almost century-old family recipe to make the most delicious, authentic Italian gelato. You can find our gelati in restaurants, Whole Foods, and other artisan markets around Washington, D.C. Our storefront is located in Takoma Park, Md. We also have carts at the Nationals’ ballpark and recently launched D.C.’s first gelato food truck! We are always creating new flavors and are busy at the moment launching our new hot chocolate menu and other fall favorites.
What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
I love connecting with and collaborating with other people who are just as focused on improving their communities. My position allows me to use our global networks to be a megaphone for important causes. I am so fortunate to work at a place like the UN Foundation where we are not just another organization, but a movement builder that fosters innovative ideas and brings them to global scale. I love working with a place that helps to support my vision and helps me to implement my ideas.
What challenges keep you awake at night?
My ridiculously long to-do list, late night emails from places around the world, finding time for my own business and, of course, my family.
Is work/life balance ever a problem with you? If so, what is one no-fail tactic you use to create balance?
I am very fortunate to work at a place that understands the importance of work/life balance. The UN Foundation is the best place to work; we put in a lot of hours and it is seriously fast-paced, but we get loads of vacation time.
Beyond that, running a business on the side and being a mom means I live by my calendar. I schedule everything, even time with my kids, so it never gets taken away from me.
Was there ever a moment in your career where you’ve thought, “I made it!” What was it?
Not yet! I still have so much work to do to grow my business and to grow in my career. I love my job so much but always am up for new challenges. Every year I set new goals for myself and just work on a yearly basis to try and achieve those goals.
What are some of the rules you live by?
Work hard, but play harder! I am a workaholic, a domestic goddess at home, and I love a good night out with friends!
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
Be innovative. I never wait for someone to delegate work to me; I find opportunities on my own and make things happen. I am a serial connector and love a great opportunity. In business the best piece of advice I can give is to not be afraid to take a risk. If you don’t take risks you will never know what could have been.
What one piece of advice do you wish you could tell a 21-year-old version of yourself?
Do more fellowships, join more young leader organizations, jump on social media and use your voice for good. Anyone can be a global advocate now; we see 16-year-olds changing the world. Digital media and technology make it possible for anyone to be a change-maker, you just need motivation.