2020 Signature Event

November 13, 2020: 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

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2020 Signature Event

November 13, 2020: 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm

Join the San Diego Diplomacy Council and our cohost, the San Diego Chapter of International Game Development Association for an unforgettable online fundraising evening exploring how video games can promote world peace and diplomacy. The event will be held online on Friday, November 13th at 5 PM Pacific Time. 

The evening will feature distinguished speakers, a video game demonstration, virtual door prizes, an optional dinner for local guests, and a private cocktail party. 

Your ticket and donation directly support the San Diego Diplomacy Council’s efforts to build trust, dialogue, and collaboration between the United States and other nations through in-person and online professional, educational, and cultural exchanges. 

Welcoming Remarks

Assistant Secretary of State Mary Royce

Marie Royce was confirmed by the United States Senate and sworn in as Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs on March 30, 2018. In this capacity, she oversees a wide range of programs to advance U.S. foreign policy objectives through educational, professional, cultural, and sports exchanges that promote mutual understanding between the people of the United States and people of other nations. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) programs create networks and partnerships to advance U.S. foreign policy goals and address the world’s greatest challenges and opportunities. Click here to read more.

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Panel Speakers

Lual Mayen

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Lual Mayen is a South Sudanese video game developer and founder of Junub games. His parents had to flee South Sudan to Northern Uganda to find a place of refuge. Born in South Sudan and raised in a Refugee camp, Northern Uganda. Passionate about creating games to help promote peace. Currently a Visiting Scholar In-Residence at American University.

Recognized at the Game Awards as the Global Gaming Citizen by Facebook Gaming and The Game Awards for using games to bring about a positive impact. The awards bring together a diverse group of game players, game developers, and notable names from the popular culture to celebrate and advance gaming’s positions as the most immersive, challenging, and inspiring form of entertainment. The Game Awards viewership more than doubled in 2018 with over 27.5 million live streams. 

Dr. Constance Steinkuehler

Dr. Constance Steinkuehler is an American professor of informatics at the University of California–Irvine. She previously taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before taking public service leave, from 2011-2012, to work as a Senior Policy Analyst in the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) at the White House Executive Office, where she advised on policy matters about video games and learning. She currently researches the cognitive and social aspects of video games and gaming at the University of California, Irvine. Her current projects include mixed methods research on the North American Scholastic Esports Federation (NASEF) high school esports league, quantitative study of esports in higher education, and advice on parenting gamers. She is currently a co-chair of the Connected Learning Summit (CLL), and chair for the annual Esports Conference (ESC) at UCI as well as the UCI Esports Program Task Force for Diversity and Inclusion. She has published over ninety articles and book chapters including three special journal issues and two books.

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Kate Edwards

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Kate Edwards is a 27+ year veteran and an outspoken, multiple award-winning advocate of the game industry and the Executive Director of the Global Game Jam, as well as the former Executive Director of the International Game Developers Association (IGDA). She is also a professional geographer and corporate strategist who pioneered and specializes in content culturalization. Following 13 years at Microsoft, she has consulted on many game and non-game projects for BioWare, Ubisoft, LEGO, Google, Amazon, Facebook, and many other companies. She was also profiled in the December 2018 publication Women in Gaming: 100 Professionals of Play.

Joshua Shen


Joshua Shen is currently the Strategic Designer for Interactive Media and Games for the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). His portfolio is to explore ways to integrate gaming, gamification, and new communication technologies with existing State Department policy needs, key audiences, and programs.  He serves as ECA’s liaison in this space with other U.S. government agencies, the private sector, and academia.  Prior to this assignment, Joshua worked in ECA’s Sports Diplomacy division, as well as Consular and Public Affairs Sections in three overseas assignments – Malaysia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka/Maldives.

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Video Game Demonstration

Among Us

In partnership with the North America Scholastic Esports Federation, attendees will witness the video games for diplomacy concept in action, as high school students in San Diego and Mexico participate in the video game “Among Us,” to promote global dialogue and collaboration. A Q&A with some of the students will follow.

Laylah Bulman

The Q&A will be moderated by Laylah Bulman, Senior Program Officer at the Samueli Foundation, who supports programmatic efforts nationally and internationally, focusing on partnerships, STEM education, youth engagement, diversity and inclusion initiatives. Ms. Bulman also serves as one of the Foundation’s leaders for its scholastic esports program known as NASEF, the North America Scholastic Esports Federation, and serves as the Executive Director/Founder of its first state-wide affiliate. She is a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and graduate of the University of Virginia.

Eat and Do Good

Local guests will have the option to purchase dinner from IRC MAKE. The Project is a social enterprise catering and food company. It was created to provide low–literacy refugee women the opportunity to learn critical job skills and vocational English in a real, on-the-job setting.

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Our evening would not have been possible without the in-kind support of many individuals, organizations and businesses including:

Logo DOS
Global Tie US
Igda Sd Logo Tall Color White
Sempra Energy Clear Background (1)
SDSU's Office Of Global Affairs Logo
Virtual Event Collective
Logo Leslie Bassett
Logo Sharon Payne


Become a sponsor and support the critical intersection between video games, diplomacy, and youth global education. For companies and individuals interested to sponsor the 2020 signature event, please contact Executive Director Fabienne Perlov at Fabienne@sandiegodiplomacy.org

$5,000 – Final Boss

Featured as a presenting sponsor of the 2020 signature event, invitation to the VIP cocktail, complimentary tickets for eight (4) guests, one-year SDDC Ambassador-Level corporate membership, promotional acknowledgment on all social media and all other event publicity.

$2,500 – Meta

Invitation to the VIP cocktail, complimentary tickets for eight (4) guests, one-year SDDC Corporate Diplomat-Level membership, promotional acknowledgment on all social media, and all other event publicity.

$1,000 – Developer

Invitation to the VIP cocktail, complimentary tickets for four (4) guests, and promotional acknowledgment on all social media and all other event publicity.

$500 – Mini-Boss

Tickets for two (2) guests and promotional acknowledgment on all social media and all other event publicity.

We look forward to celebrating with you!


November 13, 2020
5:00 pm - 6:30 pm
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