Monique Ward

Humanitarian Operational All-Star

Born in Indonesia, Monique spent her childhood in New York and Australia, and had spells working in Singapore and the UK. Perhaps it is not surprising that she has ended up living in Spain – on the exact opposite side of the world from her native New Zealand. She still calls Aotearoa “home” and has strong ties to her large extended family and friends, but loves life with her husband and two young children in the sizzling city of Sevilla.

Monique sees her independence as one of the “secret powers” of being a middle child, along with her keen sense of fairness and empathy, and considers herself to be a genuine blend of her practical, diplomatic father and her idealistic, poetic mother.

Monique has had a multi-faceted professional background, and as a result can turn her hand to almost anything. She has worked as a lawyer, served the New Zealand Prime Minister and Cabinet and managed international development programs in the Pacific Islands. She also had stints volunteering in Guatemala, teaching English and being a yoga instructor. Monique sees her role at GAIA Insights as a perfect fit for her to apply her eagle-eyed attention to detail and language, to exercise her analytical and organizational mind, and to foster her passion to be a force for good and make the world a better place.

Curious fact #1

Monique loves all bodies of water - including baths and Moroccan Hammams - and cannot say no to swimming, surfing, kayaking, water-skiing, snorkeling … even springboard diving, for which she won two medals at a national level as a teenager.

Curious fact #2

Monique is fascinated by spiritual dwellings - Buddhist temples, Hindu ashrams, Mayan ruins … Her audience with Pope Benedict XVI confirmed her belief that spirituality is a universal human experience that connects us to something bigger than ourselves.