Staff and Board
Joe founded the Center for Digital Storytelling (formerly the San Francisco Digital Media Center) in 1994, with wife Nina Mullen and colleague Dana Atchley. Together they developed a unique computer training and arts program that today is known as the Standard Digital Storytelling Workshop. This process grew out of Joe's long running collaboration with Dana on the solo theatrical multimedia work, Next Exit. Since then, Joe has traveled the world to spread the practice of digital storytelling and has authored and produced curricula in many contexts, including the Digital Storytelling Cookbook, the principle manual for the workshop process, and Digital Storytelling: Capturing Lives, Creating Community.
Born and raised in Texas, Joe has been active in the Bay Area arts community for the last 25 years as an arts activist, producer, administrator, teacher, writer, and director. In 1986, he co-founded Life On The Water, a successful nonprofit production company that offered a broad array of programs serving San Francisco's diverse communities. Joe has produced over 500 shows, ranging from theatrical runs, single performances, special events, citywide festivals, subscription series, conferences, and digital story screenings. Prior to his career in the arts, Joe was trained as a community organizer and assisted in numerous local, statewide, and national public policy campaigns on issues of social justice and economic equity. He has a BA in Theater and Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley.
Emily is a practicing visual artist who grew up in a large family in Iowa. She received a BFA in painting and printmaking and completed her MA in Art Education at the University of Iowa, with an emphasis on narrative and technology. Her thesis took the form of a website entitled The Mom Project, which examines issues of family narrative and the use of technology in the art classroom. In addition to her experience assisting University of Iowa faculty and student teachers with the development of multimedia and electronic portfolios, Emily taught high school art for five years, specializing in web design, video production, and photography. Before joining the Center in 2002, she also spent time working abroad, volunteering as an art teacher in Japan and pursuing photography and printmaking in Italy and Sweden.
Silence Speaks Director
Amy is a storyteller, documentary filmmaker, and public health consultant who was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her ten-year involvement in coordinating community-based public health and community development projects in California and nationally led her in 1999 to co-found Silence Speaks, an international digital storytelling initiative offering a safe, supportive environment for telling and sharing stories that all too often remain unspoken. She continues to lead this and other global health and human rights-related projects at the Center. Prior to coming on board as a full time staff member in 2005, she co-produced and edited a series of educational documentaries about HIV and AIDS in Ethiopia. Amy has a BA in British and American Literature from Scripps College in California, and an MA in Education/Gender Studies from Stanford University in California.
Rocky Mountain/Midwest Region Director
Daniel has been telling stories and teaching others to tell stories for more than ten years. After leaving the San Francisco Bay Area, where he was born and raised, he taught creative writing for three years while working on his MA in Creative Writing at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Daniel then spent the next few years in marketing and advertising, helping companies deliver their messages. Although he's not a therapist, his mother is. (Doesn't that count for something?) In 2003, Daniel opened the Center's first Regional Office, based in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in developing projects that explore the impact of digital storytelling for youth and within the health sector, and has also done considerable work with local museums and radio/television broadcasters. In collaboration with the University of Colorado, Daniel developed the Center's first accredited certificate course in digital storytelling facilitation.
West Coast Region Director
Andrea was raised by her bilingual/bicultural family in both Argentina and the United States. Before joining the Center’s staff in 2006, she worked for twelve years as an educator in a variety of settings, including a jail GED project in Wisconsin, a training program for rural schoolteachers in Bolivia, and, most recently, a substance abuse prevention initiative for youth in San Francisco. From 1999 to 2001, she was a Violence Prevention Academic Fellow with the California Wellness Foundation, focusing on aftercare services for youth exiting detention facilities. In addition to leading numerous bilingual (English-Spanish) digital storytelling workshops with youth and members of immigrant communities, Andrea developed the Center’s Workshop for Educators, which tailors digital storytelling for K-12 classroom use. She has a MS in Adult Education.
Canadian Projects Director
Rob is a photographer, designer, and writer who has been facilitating digital storytelling workshops in Canada since 2004. He began working on story and photography projects with remote Northern communities in the Northwest Territories in 2001. He is the author, co-editor, and co-designer of four books: Exploring the Castle: Discovering the Backbone of the World in South Alberta; Sáhtu Atlas: Maps and Stories from the Sáhtu Settlement Area in Canada's Northwest Territories (nominated for The William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books in 2006); If Only We Had Known: The History of Port Radium as Told by the Sahtúot’ine; and Field Guide to the Birds of the Mackenzie Delta. Rob is a graduate of the University of Calgary with a BS in Ecology and Communication Studies.
Southwest Region Director
Allison's background as an artist, graphic designer, educator, community builder, and lifelong appreciator of story have all served her in her work with the Center. Before joining the staff, Allison taught ESL and Communication courses in the Maricopa Community College System in Arizona and coordinated study abroad programs in the College's International Education Department. Prior to this work, she was part of a team that developed and facilitated a Colorado-based international leadership and service-learning program for young leaders from more than thirty countries. Allison holds a BA in Literature and in Communication and a MA in Humanities and Intercultural Communication from Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.
East Coast Region Director
Stefani began telling stories professionally in the late 1970s, as a founder and member of the Latino theater company Teatro Nuestro, based in her hometown of Washington, DC. While attending George Washington University, Stefani shifted her focus from theater to television production. She worked as both an editor and a producer for more than 15 years prior to joining the Center's staff in 2007, receiving awards for a Travel Channel documentary about National Parks along the Colorado River, a Discovery Channel production profiling youth who have survived hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes, and several productions created for the Discovery Global Education Partnership. A product of border crossings, Stefani is Filipina, Russian, German, English, and Scottish. She feels most comfortable straddling the boundaries of race, culture, gender, and place.
Board of Directors:
Senior Vice President, General Manager, Organic, Inc.
Alle leads the San Francisco office of Organic, Inc., a top-ranked global digital marketing agency. In her role as Senior Strategic Client Lead there, she manages all aspects of development and operations. Before joining Organic, Alle served as Senior Partner, Managing Director of Ogilvy & Mather San Francisco. She has led large-scale relationships with clients like NatWest/RBS, Barclays Global Investors, Yahoo!, the Intercontinental Hotels Group, Sony Electronics, GlaxoSmithKline, Wells Fargo, Williams-Sonoma, Inc, and others. Prior to working at Ogilvy, Alle spent 11 years with Digitas, Inc., most recently as Senior Vice President, Marketing Capability, in the London and San Francisco offices. She holds a BA from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, where she double-majored in English and French.
Core Faculty, Expressive Arts Therapy, California Institute of Integral Studies
Denise is currently on the faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. She is a theatre artist, psychologist, and expressive arts therapist whose work supports and affirms individuals affected by social justice issues as homelessness, violence, poverty, HIV/AIDS, and substance abuse. She has designed and taught courses in arts program management, cross-cultural psychology, and "flow" psychology; and chaired and presented at numerous higher education conferences and seminars. Denise's more than 20 years of teaching experience includes faculty positions at Catholic University Metropolitan College in Washington, DC; Coppin State University in Maryland; the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; and Marymount University in Virginia. Denise holds a PhD in Counseling Psychology from Walden University, based in Minnesota.
Vice President, Marketing and Development, World Affairs Council
Jennifer is Vice President of Marketing and Development for the World Affairs Council. She has worked as a strategic marketing and communications consultant and team member for a variety of entrepreneurial and corporate companies. In addition to her work with a series of venture-backed technology companies, her corporate clients include BEA, Sybase, IDG, Lotus Development and Hewlett-Packard. In the nonprofit arena, Jennifer was the founding director of the Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program, a co-founder of the Rockwood Leadership Institute, and the founding director of the Haas Jr. Fund’s Flexible Leadership Award program. In 1998, Jennifer's book Cybergrace: The Search for God in the Digital World was published. She attended the University of Massachusetts, Amherst College and the University of California, Berkeley and holds an MA from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.
Senior Marketing Manager for Windows Phone, Microsoft Corporation
Erin currently resides in Seattle and works for Microsoft as the Original Equipment Manager (OEM) of Partner Marketing for Windows Phone. Her youthful days growing up in Honolulu gave her a deep appreciation for sunny skies, and she is an avid fan of documentaries and good storytelling. She graduated with honors and Phi Betta Kappa from Lewis & Clark College in Oregon. After a seven-year career in the aerospace industry and stints living in Toulouse, France, Munich, Germany, and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Erin landed in Boston, where she obtained an MBA at Harvard University and an MA in International Affairs at Tufts University.
Independent Technology Consultant
Stuart currently serves as Director of the Earth Pledge Foundation in New York City, whose sustainability initiatives highlight the connections between everyday choices, personal well-being, and a healthy world. Taking advantage of the increasing availability of powerful, low-cost personal computers, Stuart founded Books That Work, which developed award-winning software tools that made it possible for non-professionals to design and visualize projects with 3-D graphics. Following the sale of the company in 1997, he accepted a position as Vice President of Internet Applications for AT&T Labs in Menlo Park, California. In early 2002, Stuart was recruited by Stanford University in California as the inaugural Director of the Digital Vision Program at the Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI). He has a BA from the University of Michigan and an EdM from Harvard University in Massachusetts.
Professor and Chair, Graduate Program in Design, California College of the Arts
Brenda has worked in interactive media since 1976. Before taking on her current position, she chaired the Graduate Media Design Program at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and was a Distinguished Engineer at Sun Microsystems Labs. Based on her research in gender and technology at Interval Research, she co-founded in the early 1990s a company called Purple Moon to create interactive media for girls. Her books include The Art of Human-Computer Interface Design; Computers as Theatre; Utopian Entrepreneur; and Design Research: Methods and Perspectives. She earned a BA from DePauw University in Indiana, and an MFA and a PhD in Theatre from Ohio State University.
Director of External Affairs & Development, Roosevelt Institute
Robin is currently the Director of External Affairs & Development with the Roosevelt Institute in New York City. She has amassed a 20+ year history of working in the development field, specializing in fundraising and communications. As Vice President of External Affairs for the Community Service Society (CSS) of New York – a nonprofit devoted to fighting poverty through a range of service and policy efforts – she created a staff position that is dedicated to seeking out and developing stories of clients served by the organization. Robin has devoted her "non-work" life to the development of personal narratives; she is a published fiction writer and frequently attends and supports New York City storytelling venues such as The Moth and StoryCorps. She has also provided pro-bono fundraising support for ducts.org, the webzine of personal stories. Robin has a BA in Literature and Rhetoric from Binghamton University in New York (state).