BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Talin Keshishian-Walker founded Allied Cultures shortly before graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from California State University, Northridge (CSUN) after taking an eye-opening race relations course on campus. Her desire to enter the nonprofit sector was fueled by an intent to develop a career enhanced by service and goodwill. After one year of organizational planning and program development, Talin returned to CSUN to obtain a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management. Professionally, she has worked for several nonprofit organizations in Los Angeles County, facilitating the expansion of housing and relief services to hundreds of homeless, displaced or otherwise marginalized individuals and families. She has secured over $1.4 million in funding for her causes since 2006 and has channeled her experience and knowledge to advance Allied Cultures and develop its programs on an international platform.
She has served as the former President of the MPA Alumni Association at CSUN and continues to partake in multicultural conferences, coalitions, and charitable partnerships to impact her nonprofit sector work for wide audiences. She has been Board President of Allied Cultures since its founding.
Born and raised in Lebanon by Armenian parents, Talin has fostered her interest in culture and respect for refugees and immigrants to develop a scalable set of programs making change for students and disaster victims (Scholarship and Dignity Kit Programs).
Talin believes culture is best experienced through food and travel. She is married to a Chef and enjoys traveling to different countries to celebrate and be enriched by their culture and traditions.
Eliza has joined Allied Cultures from its conception as Treasurer. Graduated from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon with a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology. After graduation she was one of the first female geologists working in the field of engineering geology in the area. During the time she led the revival of the Lebanese Geological Society (LGS), which had stopped activities during the civil war. Unfortunately, due to the country’s situation, LGS activities stopped again.
Because of her work, she had the opportunity to travel to different countries and experience different cultures.
She moved to the United States in 2001 and continued working as a geologist and was involved in environmental assessment and cleanup. In addition to soil, geology, she is skilled in environmental awareness, environmental policy, and waste management, which allows her to do her part in providing a better environment to live in.
Similarly, she believes Allied Cultures will provide a safe environment for helping, awareness and understanding, bringing together different cultures, races and ethnicities.
Jennifer Calderon, MA, LMFT, LPCC, brings over 21 years of working in nonprofit organizations in varying levels of management & administration roles in the Los Angeles area. She is a dually-licensed mental health professional with education in Clinical Psychology & Public Administration, and volunteers time with several professional mental health organization committees to increase support for providers and improve the quality of care for consumers.
As a board member since December 2020, Jennifer identifies that the mission of Allied Cultures deeply resonates with her personal belief and professional advocacy for social justice & radical acceptance of all individuals. She is intent in organizing efforts to give back to the local and global community on a humanitarian level. Also, by using her background in mental health, Jennifer is looking forward to bring about opportunities to support our collective communities to facilitate communication and educational events regarding cultural diversity, cultural humility, and the importance of uplifting & supporting the voices of the underrepresented and of minority populations.
An attorney by training, Scott Macdonald has been involved with public service and nonprofit work for more than ten years. Scott completed his undergraduate studies in the Honors English Program at California State University, Northridge, and then received his J.D. from Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles prior to being admitted to the State Bar of California. Professionally, he has served in a variety of roles with multiple Departments at the County level—working on issues related to property taxes, minimum wage, and most recently, COVID response efforts.
In addition to service with the Special Olympics and the Boy Scouts of America, Scott previously served with RISE, a civic engagement program sponsored by the City of Burbank. As part of his service with RISE, Scott assisted with an extensive overhaul and refurbishment of a housing facility for youth and young adults who are transitioning out of homelessness.
Scott’s areas of focus continue to be on working to alleviate homelessness as well as fostering cultural awareness as a means of bringing about meaningful cohesion within a community. Based on these interests, he was excited to join the Board of Allied Cultures in February of 2021. Scott looks forward to working with Allied Cultures in efforts that provide service with an emphasis on multicultural awareness and cooperation.
When not working or serving, Scott enjoys traveling, exploring nature and playing sports with his wife Pam, and their children.
Biography of Suzzi Grigoryan coming soon
Suzzi Grigoryan, Board Member
Dr. Chrispin Dambula,
Dr. Chrispin Dambula is a development expert and scholar trained in Africa and the United States. He brings to Allied Cultures six years of field-based experience in development practice, having worked with Malawi Government/UNICEF and World Vision International as a coordinator for WASH, literacy boost, food security, and emergency preparedness projects. His skills include development research and policy formulation, project designing, proposal writing, grant acquisition and management, project monitoring and evaluation, and financial management.
As a development scholar, Dr. Dambula has three years of experience in teaching and mentoring students at graduate level. He is interested in economic development and human wellbeing research with a specific focus on the role of identity or self-concept.
All his educational qualifications have an emphasis in development studies and behavioral sciences.
He holds a BSc., an MA., and a PhD. In addition, he has published several insightful papers in peer-reviewed journals in the field of development studies. His passion for development is inspired by his own experience of poverty in his childhood. He envisions a world of opportunities and capabilities for all where every human can achieve their wellbeing aspirations.