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NOCDC promotes citizen diplomacy.

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Who We Are


Susannah Coolidge has served as Executive Director of the New Orleans Citizen Diplomacy Council since January of 2009. From 2000-2009 she served as Trade Programs Manager of the World Trade Center of New Orleans where she promoted and managed all seminars and conferences to highlight overseas markets for Louisiana products and services. In addition she coordinated and facilitated both outbound trade missions and visits by foreign delegations. Prior to joining the World Trade Center Ms. Coolidge worked for five years as a Commercial Account Executive for an American Express travel franchise. Before that she worked as a French interpreter at Logan International Airport in Boston. She also served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Niger from 1989-1991.

Ms. Coolidge is past President of the Louisiana Peace Corps Association and served on the Board of the French American Chamber of Commerce/Louisiana Chapter from 2001-2008. Ms. Coolidge received her Bachelor’s degree in linguistics from Tulane University and a Master’s in Urban Studies from the University of New Orleans.

Kelley Ponder serves as the Program Manager for the New Orleans Citizen Diploma Council.   Originally from Fairhope, Alabama, she has lived in New Orleans since 1996.  She earned her Ph.D. in International Development from Tulane University Law School and holds a Masters of Public Health from the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine.  She has worked as a consultant to the United Nations, an Adjunct Lecturer in the International Development Studies Program at Tulane University, as well as a Senior Program Manager for HIV/AIDS projects throughout West and Central Africa.  She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Benin, West Africa (1993-1996).