Paloma Dallas Senior Program Officer for Democracy around the Globe

Paloma Dallas is senior program officer for democracy around the globe at the Kettering Foundation. In this role, she works closely with the director of international programs, shaping the foundation’s international work to address the myriad democratic challenges around the globe. For more than a decade, Dallas worked as an editor and writer, reporting on Kettering research and findings. She led the foundation’s efforts to begin to translate some of its research into Spanish and has helped to guide its citizen diplomacy programs, particularly its work in Cuba, where Dallas served as a Spanish-English interpreter during Kettering Foundation exchanges with civic organizations. Dallas was coeditor of The Dartmouth Conference: The First 50 Years, commemorating the longest-running sustained dialogue between representatives of the US and Russia (previously the Soviet Union).

She co-led the foundation’s exploration of the role of arts and culture in strengthening the civic life of communities around the globe, and for the last few years has led the foundation’s work in journalism and democracy. Dallas, a former journalist, brought together innovative journalists from around the world to explore ways in which the media can avoid increasing polarization and instead contribute to people’s ability to work across differences on shared challenges. In 2023, she coedited and the foundation published a book of essays stemming from this work, Reinventing Journalism to Strengthen Democracy.

Prior to working at the foundation, Dallas was the founding director of Del Pueblo, a community-based nonprofit organization established to build bridges between Spanish- and English-speaking residents in southwestern Ohio. Dallas was part of the artist collaborative JParalelos, which used interviews, text, photography, and mixed media to spark conversations on social issues. She also worked as a freelance journalist, a reporter with Reuters in Bogotá, Colombia, and a researcher with the in Americas program area of the New York City-based Committee to Protect Journalists.

Dallas holds BAs in political science and Spanish from Macalester College, an MIA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a graduate certificate in creative nonfiction from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. She is the recipient of a Roothbert Fund Fellowship, a Women in Communications Jessica Savitch Scholarship, and a Spalding Emerging Writer Scholarship. She and her husband, an artist, have collaborated together on many projects, including raising their daughter.