The conversation surrounding women, careers, and work-life balance seems to be constantly evolving, with many conceding that there’s no prescribed path that works for everyone. Natalia Brzezinski, ’06, would know. She’s had to find new ways to balance her identities as spouse, mother, journalist, and gender equality advocate at different stages in her career.

When her daughter, Aurora, was born in 2009, Brzezinski didn’t want to set aside her burgeoning career as a journalist, but she also wanted to be a strong presence in her child’s early life. She found the answer working from home as a blogger for The Huffington Post, which she describes as an “amazing opportunity” for her so early in her career.

Now, as her husband, Mark serves as the U.S. ambassador to Sweden, Brzezinski has had to navigate a career in a foreign country while also balancing the expectations of an ambassador’s spouse. While ambassadors work on behalf of the U.S. government to facilitate partnerships between countries, their spouses are traditionally responsible for managing the residence, and co-hosting and attending events.

“Imagine if your entire social capital is built only upon the fact that you’re the wife of someone important,” she says. “It’s really up to you as the spouse to decide how involved you want to be, and to be proactive in your engagement. I felt that I needed to carve out a more substantive identity for myself in Sweden.”

Part of Brzezinski’s identity is continuing to develop as a journalist. She still contributes to The Huffington Post, primarily covering youth and women’s issues, and recently started a blog series asking top businesswomen about the secret to their success, the key to balancing work and family, and breaking through professional barriers.

But she’s also working to empower women from all over the world. Whether it’s bringing Olympic figure skating gold medalist Evan Lysacek to Sweden to perform and mentor immigrant girls, or pairing accomplished businesswomen with aspiring young female professionals to discuss ways to help each other succeed, Brzezinski is finding that bringing people together is the key to addressing women’s issues.

“Women are critical in peace-keeping, community-building and strengthening economies,” she says. “It has been shown that when women are empowered economically in developing countries, they invest heavily in their children’s education, more than the men do. Countless studies conclude it’s better for shareholders’ returns, better for the bottom line, and better for the productivity of corporate boards when more women have a seat at the table.”

Brzezinski feels lucky that her passions are in line with American and Swedish goals, and that Sweden is viewed as a global leader on many of them. She also benefits from a partner who recognizes how important it is to tackle their responsibilities together.

“Mark and I are very much a team and we came into this role with the mindset that with two of us out there we can accomplish so much more in the goal of advancing the vision of President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and now Secretary Kerry than just one person could,” she says. “Instead of viewing this as only an international adventure, I view it with the responsibility of a job and duty to our country to give every ounce of my energy.”