Julie Egan, Founder

Diplomat. Culturalist.  Conversation curator. Politico. Bon vivant.

Building on two decades of global experience, including as a diplomat at the State Department and as a senior Obama official, Julie Egan launched Salonniere to perform a different kind of diplomacy—one aimed at bringing people of eclectic backgrounds together over food and art to tackle tough conversations with diverse partners to inspire change and build collaborations.

While at the State Department, Julie executed diplomatic ventures as varied as entrepreneurship diplomacy, hip hop diplomacy, and food diplomacy. She helped launch President Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit—which has brought together over 30,000 entrepreneurs, investors and innovators in eight countries. And authored the first U.S. regional foreign policy in North Africa to include government, CEOs, and young entrepreneurs.

Most recently, Egan served in The White House on a historic team of senior advisors sent by President Obama to Detroit to assist in the recovery of an iconic American city following the most significant muncipal bankruptcy in U.S. history. In Detroit, she initiated the first refugee resettlement strategy for Detroit and a city-wide conversation on how urban diplomacy could be used in Detroit's renaissance.

Egan is a Fulbright scholar and a recipient of the prestigious Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship. She is the granddaughter of farmers in Canada and entrepreneurs in Detroit, and has lived and worked in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. She loves to cook and collects female-designed sneakers.

Danielle Waddell,
Chief Operating Officer

Danielle Waddell leads on planning, events and outreach for Salonniere. Danielle has dedicated her career to serving disadvantaged youth and increasing awareness of workforce development opportunities though a 21 year career in public service and the non-profit community. Danielle played an instrumental role in the development of The Suitor's Academy, an organization dedicated to moving youth in Chicago from the concept of being consumers to producers through engagement in the fashion, textile and merchandising industry. She is also an experienced traveling event and wedding planner.

Danielle most recently served as the labor expert and a Deputy Director of the White House Detroit Federal Working (DFWG) under the Obama Administration focusing on the development and implementation of technical assistance across the public workforce system including economic development and human services in the City of Detroit. In this role, Danielle assisted with the coordination of over 20 federal agencies’ Detroit focused grant investments. She also played an instrumental role in the ongoing development of the Mayor’s newly appointed Workforce Development Board and the implementation of a new WIOA Integration model within the American Job Centers and a Youth Services model serving youth in the Detroit Public School system. Danielle worked closely with Detroit nonprofit organizations providing workforce development services to the public, engaging their staff on strategies to connect with the existing system and engage employers. Prior to joining DFWG, Ms. Waddell served as the workforce development expert on the Strong Cities, Strong Communities (SC2) teams in Gary, IN and Rockford, IL assisting each city with strategies to address long term unemployment, youth recidivism and career and technical education gaps in the communities.

She is a proud product of the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences and is the Board Chair for its Alumni Association, a graduate of the Historically Black College, Virginia State University and DePaul University. Danielle is an avid reader of historical fiction and African-American literature and history. She lives in Chicago and travels frequently to Detroit, where she and her husband both have family.