SDCN Hires First Executive Director

Friday, October 2, 2009

(Sustained Dialogue Campus Network)The International Institute for Sustained Dialogue (IISD) announced today that on September 21, Amy Lazarus joined its team as the first Executive Director of the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN), an initiative supporting Sustained Dialogue programs on 15 campuses across the country. Amy brings over 10 years of experience working with individuals and organizations to create inclusive environments. As Executive Director, Amy will have responsibility for organizational and program strategy, operations, resource development, financial management, and external relationships as SDCN pursues new partnerships and growth.

Support from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation and the Foundation for Global Community has made it possible for SDCN to recruit Amy Lazarus as its first Executive Director. “We are very pleased to have Amy on board. Her dynamism and track record as a leader made her an especially strong candidate for the ED position. With Amy heading our efforts, SDCN has an opportunity to become the preeminent organization equipping campus leaders with the tools to make better communities,” says SDCN Advisory Board Chair David Tukey. A neuroscientist at the NYU Langone Medical Center, Dr. Tukey co-founded the first campus Sustained Dialogue program at Princeton University in 1999. IISD Founder and President Hal Saunders echoes David’s remarks: “Amy is an outstanding person and professional with considerable achievement and tremendous potential, taking account of both performance and initiative. Along with her passion for Sustained Dialogue, she has proven herself to be a true social entrepreneur.”

Prior to joining SDCN, Amy worked at ICF International in Washington, DC, consulting for federal agencies on diversity, inclusion and leadership development. After participating in the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in Pittsburgh, Amy earned a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon’s Heinz School, where she received the Dean’s Diversity Fellowship and Dean’s Leadership Fellowship. Amy's research focuses on best practices for training change agents in inclusion, and on the relationship between social entrepreneurship and economic development. She has presented internationally on social entrepreneurship, and has developed and conducted diversity trainings and strategy sessions for clients in the nonprofit, public, and private sectors. As a Duke University undergraduate, Amy co-founded the student-run Center for Race Relations and the Common Ground diversity immersion retreat to create safe spaces for meaningful interaction. Amy hales from Shaker Heights, OH and is a board member of Operation Understanding DC.
“What stood out about Amy is her personal experience with diverse communities. A lot of people talk about diversity in terms of what they’ve learned in class. Amy has that ability from her diversity training background and master’s degree. But her lived experience is what’s exceptional. It makes for a really strong candidate for the Executive Director position,” says LaForce Baker, a senior at Denison University in Granville, OH and President of Denison’s SD initiative.

Amy will be located at SDCN's headquarters in Washington, DC. If you would like more information on Amy Lazarus’s appointment, please contact SDCN Deputy Executive Director Christina Kelleher.

About the Sustained Dialogue Campus Network

The Sustained Dialogue Campus Network (SDCN) trains, mentors, and connects student leaders who initiate and sustain dialogues to build cohesive, engaged, and diverse campus communities, thereby preparing the next generation of civic leaders. SDCN is an initiative of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, which is a 501(c)(3) organization, formed in collaboration with the Kettering Foundation, that promotes the process of Sustained Dialogue for transforming racial, ethnic, and other deep-rooted conflicts in the United States and abroad. SDCN receives generous support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Foundation for Global Community, and its Institutional Members.

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