As the Director of Network Engagement, Des Buford is responsible for building and nurturing the Bay Area Justice Funders Network, a regional community for learning and action where funders committed to justice gain the knowledge and skills necessary to accelerate a Just Transition for philanthropy.
For nearly two decades Des has been dedicated to building and celebrating community through arts and cultural programming—namely at the intersection of LGBTQ communities and communities of color. She deeply believes in the transformative power of community to create dialogue, bolster coalition building, and spark social change. Des thrives on building long-term and deep relationships with colleagues, philanthropic allies, strategic partners, movement organizations, and community members.
Prior to joining Justice Funders, she was the Director of Institutional Partnerships & Events at Horizons Foundation. Des previously led the San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival (Frameline), the largest showcase of queer cinema in the world, where she served in various leadership roles for fifteen years.
Trained as a stage manager, she remains an aficionado of flawless operational execution, and is an expert at large-scale and high-profile event production and management. Des has a demonstrated commitment to mentoring and developing new talent, particularly through a lens of justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.
In her free time, Des enjoys gardening, grilling, singing along to showtunes and Ricky Martin, and romping around the Bay Area with her partner and their beloved pup, Osita. She holds a B.A. from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, with a minor in LGBTQ Studies.