DianaDiana Katz is co-founder of the Giving Circle of HOPE (GCH), a grassroots philanthropic and service organization serving Northern Virginia. Her passion is engaged philanthropy. Her goals are to demystify and promote philanthropy and to empower people to take responsibility for alleviating social problems by using all their skills and abilities to serve their communities.

Ms. Katz led the grant-making branch of the GCH from its inception in 2004 through 2008, helping to design and establish the grant-making process and leading the grants committee in awarding nearly $700K. Since then she has focused on educating her peers about the needs in the community, connecting them to nonprofits that serve the community, and connecting the nonprofits to each other. The connections she makes serve to improve effectiveness in the social sector and create conditions that facilitate social innovation and collaboration.  Currently, she is engaging a select group of Northern Virginians to award an Impact Grant to a collaborative and innovative project that benefits the region.

Ms. Katz was born and raised in Mayaguez, PR.  In 1975, she came to the United States and received a Master’s degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico.

Starting in 1978, she was a software engineer at Computer Sciences Corporation and later at Performance Engineering Corporation until 1994.  Ms. Katz also developed her skills as a proposal writer and as part of various teams was awarded over $1B in contracts.

Since then, she has used her skills volunteering for a variety of organizations: in several public schools helping teachers improve their use of technology, on the boards of PTSAs, and with several nonprofit partners of the GCH.  She also has been a youth group advisor, an Odyssey of the Mind coach, and a theater producer for a children’s play.

She serves on the boards of the Giving Circle of HOPE as leader of the Outreach Committee, and of Nonprofit Northern Virginia (an affiliate of the Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington) as co-chair of the Membership committee where she helped increase the membership by 40%. She also serves on the advisory board of the nonprofits Empowered Women International, Inc., and Computer CORE.

Ms. Katz is a lifelong yoga student and has been a yoga teacher at the Reston Community Center since 2001. She has been a resident of Reston, Virginia since 1978.