Meet Dawn Gifford Engle

Issue: Innovation, Growth, Job Creation Section: Advisory Board Meet Dawn Gifford Engle

Contact Dawn Gifford Engle:

PeaceJam Foundation 11200 Ralston Road Arvada, CO 80004 p: 303.455.2099

Dawn Gifford Engle has a background in public service. She worked for the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. for 12 years, first as a research assistant to U.S. Senator Robert Griffin, and then as Legislative Assistant to Congressman Jack Kemp and as Legislative Director to U.S. Senator Robert Kasten. In 1986, she was promoted to be Senator Kasten’s Chief of Staff, becoming the youngest woman ever to serve in that position. She also served as an assistant director of the Republican Platform Committee. In 1994, she founded Colorado Friends of Tibet, a statewide nonprofit organization.

In 1994, Dawn Gifford Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff began working together to create the PeaceJam program, which was launched in March of 1996. Suvanjieff and Engle became husband and wife in March of 2000, with Archbishop Desmond Tutu presiding over the ceremony. Currently, Suvanjieff serves as PeaceJam’s president, and Engle as the foundation’s executive director. Over the past 15 years, almost 650,000 young people across the globe have participated in the PeaceJam program, creating more than one million projects to improve their communities and the world. In September of 2008, The Dalai Lama, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and 7 other Nobel Peace Laureates joined together to launch PeaceJam’s ‘Global Call to Action’ campaign, calling for one billion acts of service and peace by the year 2018.

Dawn Gifford Engle has received dozens of awards and has been nominated six times for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was the co-director of the award-winning documentary film, PEACEJAM, produced four hours of programming for BBC World, and co-authored the book, Simple Acts of Peace, which was published by Penguin Press in 2008. New projects include 2012: The True Mayan Prophecy — her first solo film directing effort which was released this year. To learn more go to!