Diana M. Richter, Ph.D.

Diana Richter’s hometown is Fishkill, New York. Diana was extremely active in High School athletics, both regionally & nationally, honored as Most Athletic Senior and inducted into the school district’s Sports Hall of Fall in 1980. Diana’s higher education includes a BS in Health & Physical Education, MS in Sport Studies, and a Ph.D. in Sport Sociology, emphasis on sociological theory. While in college she was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, a member of national championship lacrosse & field hockey teams and participated in AAU Volleyball. A physical education teacher for 30 years, Dr. Richter has taught at the High School, Independent School and University level, most recently at the University of Iowa.  In addition, Diana coached NCAA Div. I Women’s Track & Field and Volleyball at UConn-Storrs & Northern Illinois University. Active for many years in the 1990’s in NYC as a volunteer in the LGBT community, Diana has served over 8 years on the Board of Directors for a lesbian educational & outreach group. During this time period she obtained her experience and love for event planning and fundraising. Additionally, she presented at conferences at Columbia University, Hunter College, NYU, UCONN, Yale University, NIU, Wesleyan, and University of Iowa.


In 2003, Dr. Richter became the Executive Director of The Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK). Diana switched gears from teaching and coaching to running a non-profit providing basic needs programs for the food insecure of the Greater New Haven community. As Executive Director, Dr. Richter, aka “D”, has rebranded and overhauled the entire operations and programs of DESK.  In addition, Diana has been a big proponent in serving nutritionally healthy, fresh cooked foods daily and expanding direct food service programs, including initiating a daily bag lunch for the working poor & school age children and a pet food pantry. Under Diana’s tutelage DESK has begun and maintained active recycling, food rescue programs and has fostered numerous community partnerships integral to DESK’s survival. All of DESK’s direct food service programs have increased in output to meet increasing demand, serving a record number of meals and food in 2011.


Diana is also a member of the City of New Haven’s Food Policy Council, Board member of the New Haven Crypt Association and member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, Lodge #25, New Haven. Diana has also been an active member of the Emergency Food Council of Greater New Haven and The Cook & Care Committee.


Diana believes as LGBT folks we are all part of many communities, we daily understand marginal or being disenfranchised, different. For this reason we must share and integrate our communities and build a greater community capable of compassion and love to all its citizens.