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Caroline Dessert returns to The Center as Chief Development and Community Engagement Officer



The San Diego LGBT Community Center has announced that Caroline (Cara) Dessert, JD, will return to The Center as the Chief Development and Community Engagement Officer. Dessert will assume her role on July 14.

Dessert served at The Center’s Public Policy and Community Organizing Coordinator from 2007-2009. She was most recently the executive director of Immigration Equality, focused on LGBT immigrant rights. Prior to that, she worked for the California Department of Justice in the Office of the Attorney General as a deputy attorney general in the Public Rights Division, Consumer Law Section.

She has previous experience working in the U.S. Central District Court of California; the Fair Employment and Housing Commission in San Francisco, CA; the No on 8/Equality for All campaign; and Planned Parenthood of San Diego and Riverside Counties.

“Cara is a known and respected San Diegan, and we’re thrilled to welcome her back home and back to The Center,” said Dr. Delores A. Jacobs, chief executive officer of The Center. “Her work on issues of race, gender, reproductive health, immigration and LGBT equality have given her a depth of knowledge and a true understanding of the intersectionality of our collective work.  

“She returns home with important and relevant experience on issues of LGBT equality and immigration, vitally important here on the busiest border in the United States,” Jacobs continued. “We look forward to Cara’s leadership and to the contributions she will make to our LGBT and allied communities.”

Dessert completed her JD at University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, where she was the editor-in-chief of the Chicana/o Latina/o Law Review. She earned her B.A. at University of California-San Diego (UCSD).

She has been awarded an Arcus Leadership Fellowship and the Julian Eule Constitutional Law Award. She has also been recognized by the Mexican American Bar Foundation, the Latina Lawyers Bar Association, the California Employment Lawyers Association, the California Bar Association and the San Diego Democratic Club.

About The Center 

The San Diego Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center, Inc. (The Center) is the nation’s second oldest and one of the largest LGBT community centers in the world. Functioning as the LGBT community’s anchor organization, The Center is led by a 15-member board of directors, employs over 50 paid staff and utilizes more than 1,000 community volunteers to achieve its twin goals of promoting LGBT health and human rights. The Center provides direct program services to the many different facets of the LGBT community, including youth, seniors, families, LGBT Latino community members and their families, and those struggling with HIV. Last year, The Center provided more than 61,000 service visits to San Diego community members, and through its events, activities and advocacy, touched the lives of thousands more.

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