Fabienne has over thirteen years of growing experience in policy development, institutional fundraising, program management and capacity-building in the field of public diplomacy, international affairs, refugee protection and humanitarian assistance. Beyond her Executive Director role at the San Diego Diplomacy Council, she also has leadership experience at the United Nations, governmental and non-governmental organizations in the United States, Canada, the West Bank, Israel, France, Azerbaijan, Russian Federation, and the Caribbean area. Innovative thinker with a passion for empowering local communities around the world, she has a track record of success in supporting result based management. She speaks English, French, Russian, Hebrew, and Spanish.
Jim has been working in the nonprofit industry since 1988. He has lived in San Diego 11 years, where he was the Vice President of Operations at Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Executive Director for Kids Turn and the Regional Director for the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. With 28 years in the sector, Jim has experience in all aspects of non-profit management.
IVLP Program Director
Natalie deeply believes in the power of human relationships to address root challenges of shared global issues, and enjoys facilitating opportunities to ‘build bridges’ between San Diego and individuals around the world. As part of the San Diego Diplomacy Council team since 2013, she now leads our efforts in expanding partnerships with various stakeholders and program alumni. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Arts in International Security and Conflict Resolution.
Custom Programs & Services Director
Heidi Knuff is the director of custom programs and services at SDDC. Heidi has traveled independently in over 30 countries and sailed on Semester at Sea. Those experiences solidified her belief in the importance and power of intercultural and international exchange to positively impact our world. Heidi went on to work at an international children’s camp in England, and later at Pacific Intercultural Exchange in San Diego overseeing the placement and counseling of high school foreign exchange students throughout the U.S. She then moved to academia, working at MIT’s Center for International Studies and most recently at the UC Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) as International Conference Coordinator and Program Manager before joining the San Diego Diplomacy Council.
IVLP Program Associate
Jessica is an experienced grant and project manager who has a passion for international politics, travel, and fostering personal connections that transcend borders. She spent eight years at CRDF Global, administering US Government grants awarded to international scientists in order to promote international scientific collaboration, institution building, and nonproliferation. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and a Master’s Degree in Political Science with a specialization in International Relations from San Diego State University.
Dominique De Leon
Custom Programs and Services Associate
Dominique De Leon is the program associate for our custom programs and services at SDDC. Prior to joining SDDC, Dominique was based in Washington D.C. implementing programs for the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF). As part of the IWMF’s reporting fellowship initiative in Africa’s Great Lakes region, she co-led a total of six group reporting trips to the region including the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Uganda. Dominique also worked at the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders where she focused on women, peace and security issues in South Sudan. She graduated Cum Laude from Alliant International University with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations.