Under the direction of Dr. Zachary Green, a core faculty of academics and professional coaches offers a wealth of expertise in leadership studies and community change to our Urban Leadership Fellows Program at USD. Together and individually, they work closely with the RISE Fellows as they learn and grow under the program’s adaptive change leadership approach.

berthoud-headshotDIANE FORBES BERTHOUD, PhD

Diane is the assistant vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion at the University of California, San Diego, where her responsibilities include strategic planning, advancing institutional effectiveness, serving as liaison to human resources, and leading diversity-focused community engagement and campus-wide initiatives. As a member of the vice chancellor’s leadership team, she represents the vice chancellor on high-level task forces, advisory groups, and system-wide work groups.

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Diane has over twenty-two years of experience working in higher education, nonprofits, and government and brings a proven record of success in organizational communication and development, strategic planning, and assessment of EDI initiatives. She previously served as director of practicum at Sixth College, where she spearheaded the development, design, and assessment of multiple community-based initiatives and courses. She has planned and implemented three regional conferences hosted at UC San Diego that convened hundreds of participants to dialogue about high impact practices, diversity in education, and social justice. Prior to UC San Diego, she was a lead consultant in a countywide organizational effectiveness and diversity initiative in Montgomery County, Maryland where she led an assessment and planning process to improve organizational effectiveness and strengthen equity, diversity, and inclusion for thousands of employees in the county government. Diane was previously an associate professor and department chair of communication at Trinity University, a visiting professor at George Mason University, and a senior fellow at the University of Maryland, College Park in leadership and public policy. She has been awarded faculty fellowships in the areas of women’s leadership, community-based research, public policy, and dialogue from Georgetown University, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, and the Interactivity Foundation. She has taught graduate and undergraduate courses in intercultural communication, organizational communication, leadership and discourse, and women’s studies. She also served as an ombudsperson at the US Capitol in the areas of conflict resolution and communication. Diane received her master’s and doctoral degrees in organizational communication and social psychology from Howard University and earned her BA in communication arts and a certificate in Spanish translation and interpretation from Barry University. In 2014, she was awarded the UC San Diego Diversity Award for her outstanding efforts in advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion; for increasing access to international education; for extending community-based courses and initiatives in underserved communities; and for organizing large-scale experiential learning conferences on campus that featured research and best practices in community-based courses and diversity initiatives.

Azadeh has spent over a decade in food, nutrition, and public health leadership capacity building and has designed and conducted several leadership programs in Iran, the Middle East, and Europe. In her training and coaching sessions, she helps individuals and organizations to co-create intentional change to maximize their growth. With a background in food technology engineering, Azadeh continued her post-graduate studies in food and nutrition security and regional leadership programs in Asia, Europe, and United States. She is currently a doctoral student in leadership studies at University of San Diego.

goodwin headshotLEAH GOODWIN

Leah has a diverse background that includes small business development, fundraising, and marketing and communications in the areas of cultural, community, and public relations. Her exemplary career in the arts encompasses everything from public arts management, to visual and performing arts program development and consultation, to the creation and implementation of award-winning, community-based public art, art-in-education, and arts-in-hospital programs. Leah is a published writer and poet who believes that the arts are a universal tool for healing.


Zachary is a professor of practice in Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego and the lead faculty for the RISE Urban Leadership Fellows Program. Trained as a clinical and community psychologist, he received his doctorate from Boston University and completed advanced clinical training at Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School and organizational consultation through the Wharton Center for Applied Research.

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As an organizational consultant, Zachary’s clients have included multinational corporations, government agencies, university departments, religious institutions, and nonprofit organizations. He is a leadership coach for the World Bank and a co-founder of IMAGO Global Grassroots, an organization using a participatory, co-creative model to address the generational issues of poverty in international development. His career highlights include serving on the dialogue development team for the President’s Commission on Race, conducting leadership training on five continents, and leading a multi-year process for emerging leaders of Northern Ireland in advance of the Good Friday Accord.

kymaani headshotROXANNE KYMAANI, PhD

Roxanne is a thought provoker and change catalyst. As a leader in the development and implementation of change initiatives, including programs and people, her expertise in dialogue and conflict resolution enables her to successfully lead in diverse and challenging environments while gaining and maintaining the trust of those she engages.

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She specializes in identity construction, team effectiveness, dialogue, group problem solving, diversity training, and community building, emphasizing communication, authenticity, creativity, and collective discovery. Her research interests include dialogue, liminality, identity construction, group dynamics, and cultural understanding. Roxanne’s passion is to support others on creating their most authentic self, with a focus on “being and becoming.”

Roxanne holds a PhD in leadership studies from the University of San Diego, where her dissertation work was on collective identity construction with women who have one black and one white parent. She is a certified life coach, where she works with clients on who they are “being” as a way of developing a new relationship with themselves that offers a new dialogue for how to view and experience the world from a place of love and authenticity. Roxanne is a certified core adjunct faculty with National University’s Master of Science in Organizational Leadership, an adjunct lecturer with University of San Diego’s master’s and doctoral leadership programs, and Goucher College’s Master of Arts in Cultural Sustainability.


Carlos is a senior clinical psychologist with the County of San Diego’s Juvenile Forensic Services STAT Team. Tasked with creating and providing innovative, community-based services to youth in detention or who are otherwise involved in the juvenile justice system, he has applied his clinical, group-relations, leadership, and community activist experience to educate, advocate for, and be part of the empowerment of these youth.

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An adherent to the idea of “faith without works is dead,” he brings committed action to the development of peaceful, loving relationships among all of San Diego’s individuals, families, and communities, with specific interests in gang redirection work, violence intervention, and restorative justice issues among youth. Carlos is a co-creator of Group Relations International and director of its Youth Empowerment Services initiative. He received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology and a BA from UC San Diego. He has been providing community consulting and clinical services in San Diego for twenty-five years.


JC’s path as a changemaker began after college when he traveled the world for six years while working for a study abroad leadership program. He went on to earn a master’s in communications and organizational change with the intention to focus his career within in the community development field. Over the past fifteen years, JC’s career has evolved into developing curriculum for young adult leadership programs and taking part in grassroots community development initiatives in Mexico, Guatemala, and the U.S. As part of the Changemaker Team at the University of San Diego, JC is inspired every day by the incredible talent, drive, and determination of students who have embraced the practice of being a changemaker.