Diane Christensen is the elder daughter of the Christensen Fund's founders, Carmen and Allen D. Christensen. "Diane did her undergraduate work at Stanford and her graduate work at Columbia in African History. She taught African History and served as an Assistant Academic Dean at Tufts; later she founded and ran for ten years the Christensen Research Institute, a biological research facility in Papua New Guinea. She served as the Executive Director of the Christensen Fund from 1988 until 2002 and currently oversees an asset management firm. A trustee of the California College of Arts and the Wildlife Conservation Society, she also serves on Stanford University's Humanities and Sciences Council, the Community Advisory Council for Peninsula Volunteers, and the Campaign Committee for Verde Valley School." 
"She currently works at Manzanita Management Corp., a Palo Alto asset management firm and serves on the boards of the Wildlife Conservation Society, Turquoise Mountain Foundation USA, currently serving as board chair, and the U.S. board for Kabul, Afghanistan. Diane also is a member of Stanford University's Humanities and Sciences Council, Arts Initiative (SICA) and Archaeology Council."