Carolina Darbisi, Ph.D.
Assistant Director and Public Service Associate
Youth, Women, & Adult Leadership Development
(706) 542-8633

Current Position

For the past six years, Carolina Darbisi has led youth leadership development at the J.W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development. She also develops and supports multicultural programs in both human and community development. In addition, she designs, promotes, and conducts training for nonprofits and works in the areas of program assessment and evaluation, strategic planning, and capacity building.

Current Activities and Expertise

Carolina Darbisi has more than 10 years of professional experience and a background in leadership development with an extensive knowledge of Georgia and its needs; in particular, how the changes in demographics impact the design, outreach and delivery of programs and initiatives across multiple communities in Georgia.

Darbisi provides leadership to innovative programs focused on youth leadership development and college readiness, programs that support multiculturalism and diversity endeavors across communities not only in Georgia but in several states across the country. She conducts applied research projects, principally in the form of program evaluations and needs assessments. Additionally, Darbisi’s research interests include women’s learning, leadership development, social capital, multiculturalism and qualitative research. As a qualitative researcher, she has studied social capital among low-income Latinos in Georgia and the learning experiences of Latina leaders negotiating cultures. Recent clients include the Georgia Department of Education Migrant Education Program, national and local affiliates of Girls Incorporated, the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, and the Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, Inc. In addition, she has expertise in planning, developing, and documenting processes and procedures, experience that she brings from her previous work in the industrial engineering field.

Previous Experience

Prior to joining Fanning, Darbisi was the Gainesville Campaign Community Coordinator for the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (G-CAPP), where she was responsible for managing the daily operations of the Campaign Community and providing support in community needs assessment, leadership, and program development, implementation, and evaluation.

She was born and raised in Venezuela and has lived in Athens, Georgia, for more than 13 years.


  • 1997, B.Sc. in industrial engineering
  • 2002, M.Sc. in technology management, Mercer University
  • 2005, M.Ed. in adult education, University of Georgia
  • 2012, Ph.D. in adult education, learning and organization development, University of Georgia


  • Leadership Georgia, 2014
  • University of Georgia’s Public Service and Outreach Leadership Academy, 2013-2014
  • UGARF Poverty and the Economy Grant award to explore social capital among low-income Latinos in Georgia, 2011


  • Georgia Department of Education Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Stakeholders Evaluation Task Force: 2013-Current
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers Advisory Council: 2013-Current
  • Governor's Office for Children and Families Afterschool and Youth Development Standards Stakeholders' Committee: 2013-Current
  • Migrant Education Program (MEP) Statewide Comprehensive Needs Assessment (CNA) Committee: 2012-2013
  • University of Georgia Lifelong Learning Association (UGALLA), past treasurer: 2010-2012
  • Youth Leadership Athens – Steering Committee Member: 2008-2012
  • OneAthens Teen Pregnancy Prevention -Task Force Member: 2007- 2009
  • Hall County Hispanic Committee – Board Member: 2007-2008
  • Healthy Hall, A Community Partnership – Member: 2007- 2008
  • Hall County United Way – Board Member: 2005-2008
  • Northeast GA Department of Labor Youth Council: 2005-2007

Professional Organizations

  • American Evaluation Association (AEA)
  • Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA)
  • American Association for Adult and Continuing Education (AAACE)
  • Pi Lambda Theta International Honor Society and Professional Association in Education
  • Phi Theta Kappa – Certified Leadership Instructor