Meet the Filmmaker: Dawn Gifford Engle


Filmmaker Dawn Gifford Engle

Dawn Gifford Engle


Dawn Gifford Engle has a background in public service. She worked for the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C. for twelve 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 Kasten’s Chief of Staff, becoming the youngest woman ever to serve in that position for a U.S. Senator. She also served as an assistant director of the Republican Platform Committee. In 1994, she founded the Colorado Friends of Tibet, a statewide non-profit 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.


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 in 2008. ‘2012: The True Mayan Prophecy’ is her first solo directing effort.