PLATINUM2022

San Diego Diplomacy Council

Creating international connections to address common global challenges.

San Diego, CA   |  www.SanDiegoDiplomacy.org

Mission

The San Diego Diplomacy Council’s mission is to create professional, cultural and educational experiences that connect people and organizations, driving positive changes in themselves, their communities, and the world.

Ruling year info

1980

Executive Director

Ms. Heidi Knuff

Main address

4305 University Avenue Suite 510

San Diego, CA 92105 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

Citizen Diplomacy Council of San Diego (CDCSD)

International Visitors Council of San Diego (IVC)

International Hospitality Council of San Diego

EIN

95-3477071

NTEE code info

International Exchanges (Q23)

International Peace and Security (Q40)

Citizen Participation (W24)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2023, 2022 and 2022.
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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

The International Visitor Leadership Program is the U.S. Department of State's premier professional exchange program. Launched in 1940, IVLP builds mutual understanding between the U.S. and other nations through carefully designed short-term visits to the U.S. for current and emerging foreign leaders. These visits reflect the visitors' professional interests and supports foreign policy goals. Over 320 current and former Heads of State, 1500 cabinet-level ministers, and many other leaders in government and the private sector are IVLP alumni. The San Diego Diplomacy Council (SDDC) arranges local programming including professional appointments, internships, and cultural activities for more than 600 international visitors each year. These programs provide mutually beneficial exchanges, create links between San Diego and the world and improve participants' perceptions of the U.S. Since its beginning in 1979, SDDC has brought over 16,000 emerging leaders from around the world to our city.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Through the Global Leadership Youth Program (GLYP), SDDC provides students grades 8-12 with education on international affairs and diplomacy. This year, SDDC hosted five week-long modules for students on global topics like LGBT rights, wildlife preservation, energy, design thinking, and global pandemic diplomacy. As part of this program, students hear from high level international speakers, engage in group projects and participate in experiential diplomacy simulations.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

SDDC organizes community education events through year. Through our Talk About Series, Global Social Hours, and other events we provide distinguished speakers and expert panels to engage with San Diego audiences and virtual global audiences on a wide array of internationally focused topics. SDDC's in-person events connects internationally-minded San Diegans with global thought leaders, foreign affairs experts, and government representatives. SDDC's events aim to stimulate dialogue, foster connections, and promote mutual understanding.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We partner with private companies, government offices, and non-profit organizations to create custom professional international exchange opportunities that bring individuals from different parts of the world together to examine global challenges. We can arrange all programmatic and logistical aspects of international meetings, conferences, dialogues, training programs, fellowships, and other public and private events.

Build strategic global connections
We work one-on-one with each client to determine their needs and develop a customized plan for the administrative and programmatic management of their event or program. We aim to support San Diego’s global competitiveness efforts by connecting global business leaders with their San Diego counterparts, fostering relationships and forging international business connections. Our fees are based on the level of service provided, number of international guests, and length of program.

Featured Programs
Enrichment Seminar for 90 international post-doctoral Fulbright scholars
Month-long fellowship programs for business leaders from Russia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean through the YLAI, RBL and YSEALI programs
Russian Business Leaders Fellowship Program
Scottish Members of Parliament visit organized for the U.S. Embassy London, U.S. Consulate Edinburgh and Cultural Vistas.
Custom outbound travel opportunities, including our trip to Croatia and Bosnia i Herzegovina.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Awards

Nomination for a San Diego Human Relations Commission Award 2014

City of San Diego

Program Coordinator nominated for IVLP Programmer of the Year 2013

Global Ties U.S.

Program Associate selected to participate in the 2014 Emerging Leader program 2014

Global Ties U.S.

Program Coordinator selected for 2013 Emerging Generation: 25 in their 20’s finalist 2013

San Diego Business Journal

Program Coordinator selected to complete the San Diego County District Attorney’s Citizens’ Academy 2012

San Diego County District Attorney

Program Coordinator nominated for IVLP Programmer of the Year 2011

National Council of International Visitors (NCIV)

Affiliations & memberships

Affiliate/Chapter of National Organization (i.e. Girl Scouts of the USA, American Red Cross, etc.) - Affiliate/chapter 1979

World Affairs Councils of America - Member 1990

Soroptimist International 2010

Sister Cities International 2004

Society for Human Resource Management 2010

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Member 2011

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of countries represented by visitors

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This year we created unique programs for 490 emerging and current leaders from 104 countries who came to San Diego on professional, educational and cultural exchanges.

Number of participants in study abroad and exchange programs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

In the past year we arranged 33,764 professional interactions and about 50 successful events for our visitors and community to connect and build relationships.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

When business, government, nonprofit and academic leaders from around the world come to San Diego to connect with their counterparts through international exchange programs, the relationships they forge become a powerful tool for developing solutions to some of our most complex global challenges. For over 37 years, the SDDC has been making these types of connections possible.

As a premier nonprofit partner of the U.S. Department of State and other international agencies, we administer programs that connect current and future leaders from more than 130 countries with the city of San Diego. Our programs bring first time visitors to our city to initiate discussions between global leaders developing answers to a broad range of community challenges such as economic development, youth and education, counterterrorism, workforce development, social entrepreneurism and innovation, human rights, gender equity, social justice through the arts, tourism sustainability, disease prevention and government transparency.

Local and global leaders who participate in international exchanges benefit from greater knowledge, deeper understanding and more effective collaborations. These shared experiences result in more tourism and economic opportunities as well as a more globally informed, influential and competitive San Diego with a growing number of allies in global markets.

With the experience of a 35-year-old nonprofit, the San Diego Diplomacy Council welcomes more than 600 international visitors and interpreters each year to San Diego. We engage over 1,000 San Diego residents meeting with them to exchange best practices for pressing community issues such as tourism development and trade, health and youth empowerment, education and the arts, environmentalism and entrepreneurism, public safety and human trafficking, security and social services. These international visitors come from Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Europe, and Africa and from more than 130 developing and developed countries around the world to meet with our neighborhood and community partners regarding global issues.

Collaboration is a large aspect of our work, primarily because we are responsible for creating professional meetings over a large spectrum of topics. Our International visitors are leaders in the areas of politics, business, religion, non-profit management or education. We collaborate with San Diego leaders within the same genre.

We have active, working relationships with the following charitable organizations: San Diego Human Dignities Foundation, Interfaith Community Services, Reality Changers, The AjA Project, City of San Diego, Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention, San Diego Youth Services, National Conflict Resolution Center, MANA de San Diego, Girls, Inc., Welcome Home Ministries, Second Chance, Project Concern International, Survivors of Torture International, Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, Border Angels and many, many more.

SDDC also works actively with all local Universities, US. Coast Guard, Marines and Navy and the U.S. Border Patrol.

In conclusion, the impact of our work is far reaching. As an employer of a thriving nonprofit we also provide training for 31 college and professional interns, 4 staff and hundreds of volunteers while bringing almost $2.7 Million (1.8 unleveraged) to our local economy through year round tourism, hotels, transportation, meals, shopping, cultural activities and sightseeing.

When business, government, nonprofit and academic leaders from around the world come to San Diego to connect with their counterparts through international exchange programs, the relationships they forge become a powerful tool for developing solutions to some of our most complex global challenges.

SDDC coordinates over 3,000 professional meetings between our visiting leaders and San Diego city residents each year. These meetings provide opportunities for local residents to build long-standing business and personal relationships with influential leaders around the world. This work results in the following impacts:

• We prepare young international professionals and entrepreneurs to be competitive in the global workforce
• We equip emerging leaders to solve increasingly complex challenges facing our interconnected world
• We promote local economy and tourism
• We promote cross-cultural engagement and challenge negative perceptions of United States overseas
• We encourage our local community to participate in citizen diplomacy
• We help to raise san Diego's international profile

Over 200 current and former Heads of State, 1500 cabinet-level ministers, and many other distinguished world leaders in government and the private sector are alumni of the program. In addition to providing mutually beneficial professional exchanges, we are seeking to improve participants' perceptions of the United States and our people, customs, and government.

No other organization in San Diego brings the same quality and quantity of international visitors to our city on a weekly basis. SDDC has an exclusive partnership with several international exchange agencies including:

U.S. Department of State International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP): In recent worldwide polls, US ambassadors consistently rated this program the most useful public diplomacy tool of all State Department programs.
Open World Leadership Program: This program is sponsored by U.S. Congress. Our most recent delegation was a group of influential leaders from Moldova, with the theme of Economic and Business Development.
World Learning Youth Delegations: the SDDC has hosted teachers and students to San Diego in the past who connect with local youth and return to their home countries encouraging future visits and tourism with their families returning to our region.
Fulbright Scholars Program: SDDC recently hosted 75 Fulbright Scholars from around the world for a three day symposium.

While the San Diego Diplomacy Council has an outstanding reputation for delivering high quality programs, the organization believed that we could enhance our program services through a variety of outreach efforts. First, the organization created our first alumni outreach program. The organization now captures email addresses from all visiting delegates and invites them to join our newly created alumni Facebook page. To date, we have 220 Facebook followers and have given alumni a place to stay in touch with one another and with our agency. Second, the SDDC, in partnership with Live a Great Story created a video for social media called “Fighting for Venezuela: Daniel Fermin". We were overwhelmed by the positive online response to the video with over 60K Facebook views and 1.6K shares and counting, the video has elicited an outpouring of support for IVLP participant Daniel and Venezuelans pushing for change. Last, SDDC has focused on recognizing our subject matter experts in a more visible and robust manner. Just recently, the SDDC named the Port of San Diego our Partner agency of the year for the tremendous job that they have done hosting and meeting with our IVLP visitors.

SDDC is extremely pleased with our efforts to attract and execute effective custom programs. In the past year we have executed 14 custom programs resulting in over $75,000 in administration fees. For perspective, the 12 months prior the SDDC only ran 5 custom programs with $15,000 in Admin fees. These custom programs have increased the diversity of programs and our funding resources and have created additional organizational sustainability for ongoing cost sharing of IVLP programs.

The organization has worked diligently in creating and establishing partnerships with international organization and our local non-profit partners. We have established relationships with the Regional Economic Development Corporation, World Trade Center, Consular Corps, German American Chamber of Commerce, Port of San Diego and the Airport Authority as well as many elected city officials such as Congressman Juan Vargas, Congresswoman Susan Davis, County Board of Supervisor Ron Roberts, County Board of Supervisor Dave Roberts as well as many city councilman. We have recently established formal partnership ties through Business Membership with Sempra International, the Bristol Hotel and BD. These official Business Memberships bring an additional $5,000 a year to our organization but have also resulted in sponsorship of our events and ticket and table purchases. For the first time in our history, we have created a Reserve account.

We have not yet diversified our revenue as much as we would like and therefore, have not been able to build on our staff capacity.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

San Diego Diplomacy Council
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

San Diego Diplomacy Council

Board of directors
as of 10/24/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ambassador Leslie Bassett

U.S. Department of State (retired)

Term: 2021 - 2023

Asokan Selvaraj

Callaway Golf

Rajan Agarwal

Sempra

Yen Tu

Asian Business Association of San Diego

Mark Ballam

SDSU

Hon. Leslie Bassett

Former U.S. Ambassador

Sam Caulfield

Sempra

Jeremy Martin

Institute of the Americas

Susan Flieder

Community Volunteer

Miri Ketayi

Jewish Federation of San Diego County

Paula Herring

DeVry University

Brandon Padilla

Community Volunteer

Bainter Ric

Attorney

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/15/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 10/15/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.