OCTOBER 18 – 22, 2023


Naila Chowdhury Joins San Diego International Film Festival Board of Directors

Be the Source of Change

The San Diego Film Foundation, best known for presenting the San Diego International Film Festival each October, is thrilled to announce that Naila Chowdhury, the Director of Social Impact & Innovation at UCSD will be joining their Board of Directors.

Director of Social Impact & Innovation, UCSD and SDFF Board Member, Naila Chowdhury shared: 

“I have dedicated my life to finding opportunities to make an impact in the national, international and local community – specifically in the areas of social justice and empowering women. The San Diego International Film Festival has made enormous strides in their focus of using the platform of film to spread awareness on these topics. I admire their programming of films exploring social impact topics such as homelessness, human trafficking and environmental issues as well as the importance of women in leadership. They bring together community members and organizations with similar desires to create topical discourse, and I look forward to helping them to continue to grow their reach.”

CEO and Artistic Director of the San Diego International Film Festival, Tonya Mantooth shared:

“The San Diego International Film Festival recognizes the important role women play in effecting change both in film and across our community. Naila was a wonderful addition to our Unstoppable Women panel at last year’s Festival where we focused on this topic – and we are thrilled to have her join us in a leadership
capacity. Naila’s experience with bringing people together to support social impact topics and encourage women in leadership aligns well with the focus of the San Diego International Film Festival. ”

About Naila Chowdhury:
Naila Chowdhury is an advocate and a Change Maker, Global Networker, collaborator and connector. She envisions a world where Impact Leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators can access the resources they need to create deep and irreversible social impact – leaving no one behind. This goal is reached by addressing the issues of poverty, human rights, underdevelopment, access to finance and inequity and improving the quality of life, especially for the under – represented, deprived communities in the world. She began her career at UNICEF, Bangladesh and the Marie Stopes Clinic (UK), which sparked her life-long interest in women’s rights, economic empowerment and human rights. She is firmly committed to the UN Sustainable Development Goals & Women Empowerment Principles. She is the Director of Social Impact and Innovation at UC San Diego. She has been a prominent professional woman internationally in the field of humanitarian causes, specifically with refugees & Human Trafficked survivors, Social Impact and Management. She has a Master’s and Executive MBA from Stockholm School of Economics, a Senior Executive Leadership Development Diploma from National University of Singapore and Telecom Fraud Analyst from Cambridge University. She worked in several countries in South East Asia and Europe with Telenor, the state owned Norwegian Telecom giant. She oversaw the eponymous women’s empowerment project in GrameenPhone, economically empowering the minority women with Dr. Yunus who won a Nobel Peace Prize. She sits on several Boards of prominent organization in USA and UN bodies like WEP Leadership Team Member, UN GlobalCompact & UN Women in an Advisory capacity focusing on empowerment of the disadvantaged and vulnerable – especially women. She is one of the founding Women of Fashion4Development, working with First Ladies of the World. She actively supports Annual First Ladies Luncheon in New York during the UN General Assembly. She is a Community Board Director of San Diego Union Tribune and Strategic Advisor of Mission Driven Finance.

Her goal is to leave behind a better world for the next generation, leaving no one behind and to be the source of change.