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UC San Diego Foundation Welcomes Nine New Trustees


  • Laura Margoni

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  • Laura Margoni

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Aerial photograph of the UC San Diego campus

Aerial of the UC San Diego campus. Photo by Erik Jepsen/University Communications.

Composed of distinguished community members, university administrators and faculty and alumni representatives, the UC San Diego Foundation Board of Trustees works to connect the university with community partners and resources needed to launch innovative programs. On July 1, 2021, nine new trustees joined the Foundation Board, eight of whom are UC San Diego alumni.

“The experience and expertise our new and returning trustees bring to the board is a tremendous asset to UC San Diego,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “I am especially proud to see how many alumni are serving as this speaks to our increased efforts to engage with our alumni, who are vital to the future of our campus.”

Jeff Silberman, who assumed the role of Foundation board chair July 1, echoed Chancellor Khosla’s sentiment. “We’re thrilled to welcome so many alumni to the board this year. This exceptional group of incoming trustees will strengthen the philanthropic partnerships that are critical to ensuring sustainability in our fundraising efforts as we prepare to close the Campaign for UC San Diego next June and beyond.”

Including the incoming trustees, the Foundation Board is a diverse group of 48 trustees who help advance the university’s fundraising efforts in support of research, teaching and public service as volunteer advisors, advocates and donors. There are also 38 chair and trustees emeriti. The Foundation accepts, administers and invests all private gifts to the university and is responsible for managing the funds either as endowments or as funds available for current expenditure.

Over the years, many UC San Diego alumni have served on the board, contributing to the continued growth and excellence of their alma mater. Immediate past chair Steve Hart is one such alumnus.

“It’s been an honor to serve as chair,” said Hart, who graduated in 1980 with a master’s in mathematics. “and to work alongside fellow trustees who are also invested in helping the campus do great things.”

The newly elected trustees include:

Taner Halıcıoğlu

UC San Diego Foundation Trustee Taner Halicioglu

Taner Halıcıoğlu is the founder of the Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute at UC San Diego, which aims to nurture the evolving field through education, research and industry applications. He is an active angel investor and advisor to startups through Keshif Ventures. Previously, Halıcıoğlu held engineering and operations roles at eBay, Facebook and Blizzard Entertainment, among others. He serves on the board of the Helen Woodward Animal Center. An active member of the UC San Diego community, he is a member of the Chancellor’s Executive Advisory Cabinet for the Campaign for UC San Diego, and serves on the Computer Science and Engineering Alumni Advisory Board, the Jacobs School of Engineering Dean’s Council of Advisors and the executive board of The Basement. He is a former member of the UC San Diego Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is also a lecturer in the Computer Science and Engineering Department in the Jacobs School of Engineering.  Halıcıoğlu was awarded the Chancellor’s Medal in 2019. Halıcıoğlu received his bachelor’s degree in computer science from UC San Diego in 1996.

Sheri Jamieson

UC San Diego Foundation trustee Sheri Jamieson

Sheri Jamieson is a philanthropist and community leader in La Jolla. She has served on the La Jolla Playhouse Board of Trustees for 15 years, and is the current first vice chair. Jamieson received her bachelor’s degree in anthropology from UC San Diego in 1973, and has been involved with the university in many capacities ever since. She founded and served as president of the University Art Gallery board and created the Arts and Humanities Dean’s Advisory Council with Dean Frantisek Deak in 1995. One of the early board members of the Moores Cancer Center at UC San Diego Health, Jamieson later became one of its founding donors. She chaired the opening of the Sulpizio Cardiovascular Center and has served on the UC San Diego Health Board of Advisors since 2017. Jamieson was named a UC San Diego True Triton in 2020. 

James Kralik

UC San Diego Foundation trustee James Kralik

Based in Shanghai, China, James Kralik is managing director of Linden Street Capital Limited and CEO of Milestone Capital Strategic Holdings Limited. He began his career at McKinsey & Company and has lived and worked in China as a management consultant, entrepreneur, business executive and investor for over 30 years. In addition to various corporate boards, Kralik serves on the board of trustees of the University School in Cleveland, Ohio, and Harvard University’s Global Advisory Council. He was a member of the Harvard Business School global advisory board and is a past president of the Harvard Business School Association of Hong Kong. In 2020, Kralik was recognized for his impact as a member of the HBS Global Leaders Circle. He currently serves as chair of the UC San Diego School of Global Policy and Strategy's 21st Century China Center Leadership Board. Kralik received his bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard College and MBA from the Harvard Business School.

William Lee

UC San Diego Foundation trustee William Lee

William “Bill” Lee recently retired from his role as executive vice president of research at Gilead, overseeing the company's innovative research and preclinical programs across all therapeutic areas. After joining Gilead in 1991, he was responsible for the expansion of the company's research programs, leading efforts to advance multiple products from early-stage research into clinical development. His contributions to the discovery of internal drug candidates and evaluation of external compounds allowed Gilead to bring important new medicines to patients. Prior to joining Gilead, Lee held positions at Syntex Corp. and California Biotechnology, Inc. He serves as Bay Area regional co-chair for the Campaign for UC San Diego, and is an active member of Chancellor’s Associates and the Physical Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council. Lee was named a UC San Diego outstanding alumni in 2012. Lee received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Massachusetts and his master’s and doctorate in chemistry from UC San Diego in 1979 and 1982, respectively. He did postdoctoral work at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and the University of California Santa Barbara.

Matt Newsome

UC San Diego Foundation trustee Matt Newsome

Matt Newsome is senior vice president and general manager of the western region of the United States for Cubic Transportation Systems, the leading integrator of payment and information solutions and related services for intelligent travel applications in the transportation industry. He is responsible for overall performance of its programs in this region. Newsome served on the UC San Diego Alumni Board of Directors from 2008 to 2021, and was president from 2012 to 2014. This is his second term as a trustee of the Foundation Board.  He has worked closely with the Jacobs School of Engineering. Newsome received his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from UC San Diego in 1991, and his MBA from the University of San Diego.

Munjal Shah

UC San Diego Foundation trustee Munjal Shah

Munjal Shah is the co-founder and CEO of Health IQ, an insurance company that uses science and big data to provide special rate insurance for health-conscious older adults. He is a serial entrepreneur who has built many companies in the past. Prior to Health IQ, Munjal was co-founder and CEO of, a computer vision/machine learning company sold to Google, as well as co-founder and CEO of Andale, which was sold to Alibaba. In addition to his operating roles, he is an advisor and investor in technology and digital health-related companies. He currently serves on the Jacobs School of Engineering Dean’s Council of Advisors. Munjal received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from UC San Diego and Stanford University, respectively.

Leo Spiegel

UC San Diego Foundation trustee Leo Spiegel

Returning to the UC San Diego Foundation board this year for his second term, Leo Spiegel is a serial startup founder, executive and investor, having worked with more than 50 companies with 25 exits including three initial public offerings and four companies he co-founded. He is currently managing partner of Spiegel Capital Management, investing in promising startup companies. He is the immediate past chair of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego and joined the Leichtag Foundation board in 2021. He currently serves on the International Leadership Committee for the Campaign for UC San Diego, the Rady School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council, the UC San Diego Innovation and Entrepreneurship Council and The Basement Executive Board. He was named a UC San Diego True Triton in 2020. Spiegel received his bachelor’s degree in economics from UC San Diego in 1983.

Sandra Timmons

UC San Diego Foundation trustee Sandra Timmons

Sandra Timmons has worked as a producer, writer and video consultant for both corporate and educational clients. As a member of the KPBS-TV staff, she produced public affairs programs and was a location director for the “Nightly Business Report.” Currently, Timmons is a member of the KPBS Advisory Board and the San Diego Social Venture Partners Board of Directors, and chair of the San Diego Children’s Choir Board of Directors. She and her husband have been supporting UC San Diego for over 25 years, and she served as chair of Chancellor’s Associates, a scholarship program dedicated to increasing access to higher education, from 2017 to 2020. Timmons received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in mathematics from UC San Diego in 1981. This is her second term as a trustee, and she currently serves as the San Diego regional co-chair of the Campaign for UC San Diego Cabinet. She also begins a two-year term as alumni regent of the University of California this year.

Alfred Zollar

UC San Diego Foundation trustee Alfred Zollar

Al Zollar has had several distinct business experiences with a wide range of software technologies throughout his career. His foundational experience was with IBM, where he spent his first years in customer-facing roles before growing into various general management roles. After retiring from the company in 2011, and spending a year recharging his batteries at Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative, he began his activities as a tech investor for early-stage companies and venture funds. Most recently, he has spent the last seven years working as an operating partner with a leading technology-driven private equity firm, where he has been involved with firms in fault-tolerant and edge computing, cybersecurity, fintech, enterprise resource planning software and digital marketing. He is currently serving in advisory roles at Siris Capital and SolarWinds, and on a variety of public and private company boards. Zollar received his master’s degree in mathematics from UC San Diego in 1976.  

For more information, visit the UC San Diego Foundation website.

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