UC San Diego is in the midst of a historic era of expansion. More talented students are gaining access to a world class education; researchers across fields are forging unexpected collaborations to speed breakthroughs; and the campus is physically transforming into an intellectual and cultural destination for all. This growth could not happen without the UC San Diego Foundation Board of Trustees, who help inspire charitable gifts and manage the Foundation's assets in support of the university’s research, teaching and service goals. This year 10 trustees were elected to join the unique team of philanthropic ambassadors.
The foundation is governed by 43 trustees who accept, administer and invest private gifts to the university, managed as endowments or funds available for current expenditure. This summer, UC San Diego achieved an ambitious $2 billion fundraising goal that first began in 2012. The milestone was reached three years early thanks to support from over 135,000 donors. The Campaign for UC San Diego will continue to build momentum with the help of trustees and many more campus advocates through the scheduled completion date of 2022.
“Foundation trustees provide a crucial link between the campus and community, strengthening the philanthropic partnerships that are fueling UC San Diego’s transformation,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Their expertise and advocacy directly impacts our ability to support students, advance research and engage our community.”
Foundation trustees are community members who contribute expertise in a variety of areas, from business to law and investment management. This year, UC San Diego alumnus Steve Hart, MA ’80, co-founder and chief technology officer of Viasat Inc., will serve as chair of the board. Steve and his wife Sue are connected to the campus in many ways as generous philanthropists, academic leadership advisors and mentors to students. The Harts' philanthropy spans many years at UC San Diego, from helping to launch the Alumni Leadership Scholarship Endowment to establishing the Kevin T. Hart Memorial Scholarship and helping the start of the Arthur C. Clark Center for Human Imagination on campus.
“Like the other Foundation trustees, I’ve been involved in a lot of things at UC San Diego,” said Hart, who is looking forward to exploring even more. “We’re all people who are broadly associated with the campus and trying to help it do great things.”
The newly elected trustees include:
Deb Bronston-Culp ’80
Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, Declare
A UC San Diego alumna, Deb Bronston-Culp is changing the way women work. As a leader at Declare, she helps companies build diverse teams and connects women to networking forums and leadership training. Bronston-Culp is also a managing partner and co-founder of Samothrace Partners, which invests in early-stage companies with diverse management teams. She earned a bachelor’s degree from UC San Diego in economics, and now serves on the Economics Department Leadership Council. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.
President, Jon & Bobbie Gilbert Family Foundation
Bobbie Gilbert is a retired marriage and family therapist and is currently president of the Jon & Bobbie Gilbert Family Foundation. Gilbert is a member of the Division of Arts and Humanities Dean’s Network, and is actively involved in ArtPower at UC San Diego. In addition to UC San Diego, her board and community involvements also include Planned Parenthood, ACLU and the National Conflict Resolution Center. She holds a bachelor’s degree in English from UCLA and a master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego.
Gary Jacobs ’79
Founder and Managing Director at Jacobs Investment Company, LLC.
Gary Jacobs earned a degree in Management Sciences at UC San Diego and went on to found Jacobs Investment Company. He remains active on the Social Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council, Triton Athletics Board and CREATE STEM Success Initiative External Advisory Board. In addition, Gary and his wife Jerri-Ann established a Graduate Fellowship in Social Sciences Endowment and Chair in Social Sciences to cultivate the next generation of social scientists.
Professor of Music and Faculty Representative
For over three decades, Grammy award-winning soprano Susan Narucki has forged a unique path. Her dedication to the music of our time has led to award-winning recordings, critically acclaimed performances and close collaborations with generations of composers. Since joining the faculty in the UC San Diego Department of Music in 2008, she has been deeply engaged in commissioning, producing and performing chamber operas that illuminate critical issues in society.
Chief Vision Officer, Mixed-Use Developments, Brookfield Properties
Dene Oliver co-founded OliverMcMillan in 1978, a mixed-use and urban real estate development company known for revitalizing communities such as San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter. The company has designed and developed more than 10 million square feet of projects worth more than $4 billion. Currently Oliver serves as chief vision officer for mixed-use developments with Brookfield Properties and is chair of San Diego’s 10-year plan to end chronic homelessness. Oliver received a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, attended the USC Graduate School of Business and is a graduate of USC School of Law.
Business Executive and Board Member
Rafael Pastor is a business leader who has served as Board Chairman and CEO of Vistage International; CEO of Hoyts Cinemas Corp; President of USA Networks International; Executive Vice President of News Corp and Fox Television International; and President of CBS/Fox Video International. Currently, he serves on a variety of corporate and not-for-profit boards, including as Chairman of the International Advisory Board of UC San Diego's School of Global Policy and Strategy and as a member of the Advisory Council of the Rady School of Management. He earned his BA from Columbia University and JD from NYU School of Law.
Founder and CEO, Rady Asset Management
Harry Rady is CEO of Rady Asset Management. Previously, he served as chief investment officer of a multi-billion dollar financial, investment and real estate conglomerate. He serves as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego, and is chairman of both the Investment and Information Technology committees for Rady Children’s Hospital. Rady earned a bachelor’s degree and an MBA from the University of Southern California.
The Honorable Lynn Schenk was the first woman to represent San Diego in the U.S. House of Representatives, elected in 1992. Congresswoman Schenk served as Chief of Staff to California Governor Gray Davis from 1999-2004. She is an attorney and consultant in private practice, Congresswoman Schenk also serves on the board of two Fortune 500 companies, Sempra and Biogen. She is deeply involved in the San Diego community as an advocate and civic leader. Congresswoman Schenk earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and a JD from the University of San Diego.
President, Strachan Exploration, Inc.
Stephen Strachan began his career in an oilfield with Goldrus Drilling Company, and following graduation from Occidental College, he went on to work for Texaco, Inc., South Louisiana Production Company and Celeron Oil and Gas. He started Strachan Exploration, Inc. in 1987, an independent oil and gas exploration and production company. Strachan is active in the non-profit and philanthropic community, including serving as chairman of the Library Board of Governors at Northwestern University, as past chair of the Director’s Cabinet and current chair of the Director's Council at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
President and Co-founder, Wholistic Research and Education Foundation
Pelin Thorogood is a tech executive turned social entrepreneur who has made a career out of being at the forefront of emerging business trends and technologies. She co-founded Wholistic Research and Education Foundation, which is dedicated to CBD research, education and advocacy. With a deep background in analytics, previously Thorogood was CEO of Anametrix and CMO of WebSideStory. She holds a bachelor’s degree in operations research, master’s in Engineering and an MBA, each from Cornell University, where she also serves as an industry scholar.
For more information about the UC San Diego Foundation, visit https://foundation.ucsd.edu/.