Dabne has over 17 years in government management experience, primarily leading robust grant-making and community development initiatives. She served the past 13 years under the Louisiana Office of the Lt. Governor within the Office of Cultural Development. Her roles included directing the Historic Building Recovery Grant Program, a $23 million disaster recovery program funded by the US Department of the Interior, National Park Service, which helped almost 600 people rebuild after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. As Executive Director of the Cultural Economy Initiative, she led a team through a process to prioritize and implement strategies for business development and capacity building within Louisiana’s artistic, cultural, and performing arts business sectors. One of the most important initiatives of this program being the development of the Louisiana Cultural District Program. During her tenure as Deputy Director of the Louisiana Division of the Arts, she led the agency’s 18-month strategic planning process resulting in clear goals, objectives, and standards for grant-making programs that serve over 800 arts and cultural organizations across Louisiana. Her career in government grant-making programs began at the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture where she worked from 1994-1998.
She has been actively engaged in community initiatives in the Tremé neighborhood of New Orleans where she lives. Working with WhoData.org and the UNO Masters in Urban Planning program, the team produced a land use study of over 800 parcels highlighting building use, vacancy, commercial opportunity, and blight. She was also the lead within the Historic Faubourg Tremé Association working to development stormwater management opportunities in the neighborhood. She has served on the boards of directors of HandsOn New Orleans, the Historic Faubourg Treme Association, and My NOLA Park.
Dabne has a joint MBA/MA degree in Marketing and Art History from Tulane University and a BA in Art History and Management from the University of San Diego, and is pursuing her MS in Accounting at the University of New Orleans. She is also a Leadership Fellow through the CORO Southern California Leadership Training in Public Affairs and a member of The Institute of Internal Auditors.