The 2017 Diplomacy Gala will bring together more than 200 citizen diplomats working together to connect San Diego leaders to those dedicated to solving the world’s most pressing issues at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of San Diego on Saturday, Nov. 4.
The San Diego Diplomacy Council connects San Diego to the rest of the world through professional, educational and cultural exchange programs. One of 90 nationwide organizations designated by the State Department to provide these services, the council builds relationships between community and business leaders in the San Diego region with their counterparts around the world; addressing challenges such as safety, economic opportunity, social justice and environmental sustainability.
The year’s theme “Global Entrepreneurship + Public Diplomacy: A New Venture” highlights the connections made in the past year between local social and traditional entrepreneurs and their international counterparts.
“The Diplomacy Gala is an opportunity for our entire network of citizen diplomats to come together and recognize the important role San Diego has to play in solving world issues,” said Carmel Valley resident Fabienne Perlov, president and CEO of the council. “We’re thrilled to highlight our professional exchange program this year which empowers our best entrepreneurial minds to use their innovative perspectives to help move the needle on important global issues like combating hate, homelessness, ocean conservation and women economic empowerment.”
Perlov, a native of France, has been the executive director of the San Diego Diplomacy Council for almost two years. Perlov has over 13 years of 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 role at the San Diego Diplomacy Council, Perlov 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.
“I strongly believe in the power of public diplomacy as a cost-effective tool to create an international network of countries who understand and work with the United States to address common global challenges,” said Perlov, who speaks English, French, Russian, Hebrew and Spanish.
Solana Beach resident Johanna Afshani has taken on the role of managing this year’s gala. She brings her own unique experience as citizen diplomat from planning cultural diplomacy events, to hosting visiting leaders in her home and identifying the best opportunities for them to learn from the San Diego region.
The event will feature remarks from keynote speaker Scot Chisholm, CEO of Classy, recognized by Fast Company as one of the “The World’s Most Innovative Companies in Social Good.” Amanda Lettmann, a global woman entrepreneur and CEO of Simple Disability and Kardia Ventures, will lead the ceremony. DJ Kutz, the resident DJ for GoPro’s Carlsbad office and Voices of Our City Choir, which serves and advocates for the homeless community through music, poetry and art, will provide entertainment.
Qualcomm Inc. will receive the Citizen Diplomat Partner of the Year Award and Andy White, startup advocate for the Downtown San Diego Partnership, will be recognized with the Citizen of the Year Award.
Live auction packages will also be available with proceeds going toward bringing additional world leaders to experience San Diego’s spirit of collaboration.
Tickets and more information are available at sandiegodiplomacy.org.