Sandra Dibble was born in Egypt, raised in Europe, the Middle East, and the United States, and has spent much of her career writing about international and multicultural topics. She earned a bachelor's degree in Arabic from the University of Utah and a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University. She spent a year on an international journalism fellowship in which she traveled and studied in Mexico. She worked at The Miami Herald for nearly a decade, specializing in coverage of the Cuban, Nicaraguan and Haitian communities, and was part of a team awarded the Pulitzer Prize in national reporting for uncovering the Reagan administration's clandestine support of the Nicaraguan Contras. She spent three years at The National Geographic, where assignments included writing feature articles about Paraguay and Oaxaca. She has covered the have covered the Tijuana-San Diego border since since 1994.