• date_range September 25, 26 and 27, 2019
  • location_on The Union League Club - New York, NY

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Natasha Despotovic

Executive Director, Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD)

Natasha Despotovic is the Executive Director of the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD), a US based non-profit organization, and the Director of the Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival (DREFF), with offices in Washington DC, New York, USA, and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Following an academic background in Philosophy and Spanish, French and English Literature and Linguistics, Natasha has had an extensive and diverse international career in which she has held high level positions in the private, public, non-governmental and multilateral sectors in Europe, Dominican Republic and the United States. Her professional experience is very expansive and ranges from teaching, writing, film production and design to publishing, business management, public relations, marketing, international development, international affairs and non-profit management. She worked as the Special Assistant for International Affairs to President Leonel Fernández during his first presidential mandate (1996-2000) and was at the same time the Coordinator of the Supervising Committee for Development Projects with External Funding at the Presidency of the Dominican Republic. In 2000, with President Fernández and a group of enthusiastic professionals, she went on to co-found Funglode (Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrrollo) in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. In 2003, she moved to the United States with the mission to establish the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD) as a sister institution to Funglode. After sixteen years of GFDD’s successful operations and continuous growth, Natasha currently leads numerous research, international sustainable development programs as well as book publishing and filmmaking projects. Natasha has delivered speeches and presentations, as well as written articles on the topic of sustainable development internationally.