Heidi Knuff has over 20 years of experience working in international exchange and diplomacy. Prior to serving as Executive Director of SDDC, she has served as SDDC’s Director of Custom Programs and Services. She has also held positions at American Councils for International Education, the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the MIT Center for International Studies, and Pacific Intercultural Exchange. Heidi is a native of San Diego and has a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of San Diego. She lives in Kensington with her husband, Ryan, and her son, Luca.
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.
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.
Lulu’s passion for the diplomatic abilities of community empowerment lends itself to her role as Program Officer. Hailing from Melbourne, Australia, she is an avid traveler and loves the richness that cultural experience offer to personal and professional growth. Lulu has completed a study abroad tour in Bosnia, volunteered in Cambodia, and done an international exchange in San Diego (leading to her involvement with us) whilst pursuing a bachelor’s degree in International Relations at RMIT University, Australia. Prior to this position, she was an operations intern at the San Diego Diplomacy Council. She recently completed her Honors thesis, exploring how Smart City strategies can foster empowerment-based approaches within San Diego.
Tori Mullenix Luna
Tori’s passion and interest for international exchanges is credited to her upbringing in both San Diego and Tijuana. The frequent change in cultural and language contexts from crossing back and forth between the U.S.- Mexico border became something familiar and comforting to her. She has dedicated her educational studies and professional experience to international topics like migration, international development, and cultural responsiveness. She received a Bachelor of Arts in International Security and Conflict Resolution from San Diego State University and a Master of Arts in International Peace and Conflict Resolution with a concentration on localizing development from American University.
Christina McGoldrick is a seasoned grant writer with over 20 years’ experience in the non-profit sector to include: grants, contracts, events, individual giving, major gifts, annual campaigns, corporate giving, marketing, social media, public relations and operations. Christina has written and managed grants and contracts for RAND, UC Irvine, the Carlsbad Unified School District, the Agua Hedionda Lagoon Foundation and the Carlsbad Educational Foundation. She grew up in a U.S. Air Force family that was stationed all over the world. In her first 18 years, she lived at 8 bases. She earned her B.A. in Criminology at UC Irvine and lives in Carlsbad with her husband, 3 sons and a french mastiff. Christina now manages strategic grants and partnerships for the San Diego Diplomacy Council.
Youth Program Associate
Julia has a passion for international affairs and youth development which has led her to her role as Youth Program Associate. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from San Diego State University where she played on the Division I Women’s Lacrosse Team, and a Master’s Degree in Political Science with a focus in Security and Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University. Julia was a former San Diego Diplomacy Council intern and is part of the Executive Board for the Women’s Box Lacrosse Association and has spent nine years as a youth lacrosse coach in the South Bay, where she is focusing her efforts on advocating for the expansion and accessibility of lacrosse in San Diego.