What position do you hold at FSD? What has been your career path so far?
Dina: I am currently the Board Chairperson for FSD. I joined the Board in 2009 and have previously served as Treasurer. My initial interest in FSD stemmed from their unique community development model and a desire to balance my professional life with more hands-on change. Through my work with FSD, I have been able to help the organization and our local partners realize sustainable improvements to the local communities.
What does the future hold for FSD - any exciting new programs to share?
Dina: The FSD programs are constantly evolving. We are excited to launch our new site in Jaipur, India this summer. Jaipur is economically diverse and culturally enriching and is a great extension of our work in Jodhpur. Our India programs are extremely popular and we’re happy to be able to provide a third destination. We also continue to focus on our corporate programs and bringing professionals to our communities to lend their expertise, as well as learn from our local partners.
What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?
Dina: Hands-down, it’s the people. For FSD that means our small, dedicated staff in San Francisco as well as the teams in our ten sites around the world. Our site teams have amazing relationships with local partners who help make the intern experience meaningful for both the organizations and the interns. Our host families complete the circle by inviting the interns into their homes and sharing the intricacies of daily life. This network of relationships is key to the work that FSD does. FSD fosters this support system to ensure the best possible experience for our interns and local partners.
What country have you always wanted to visit?
Dina: I haven’t traveled extensively in South America, so a visit to one of our sites there might be next – Salta, Argentina or Cochabamba, Bolivia. I’ll need to brush up on my Spanish skills a little first (it’s been almost 20 years!).
What was your favorite traveling experience?
Dina: My favorite traveling experiences tend to fall under a common theme – living in a city for an extended period of time and getting to know the daily rhythms, such how to use public transportation, buying produce and proteins, the local bakery, doing laundry. The early morning and late night sounds of each city are unique and some of my favorites times. I particularly love watching and listening to shopkeepers opening up for the day and setting out their wares.