Press Release

Stephanie Stone (415) 379-5121
Helen Taylor (415) 379-5128


SAN FRANCISCO (July 07, 2008) – The California Academy of Sciences Board of Trustees Chair, William J. Patterson, is pleased to announce that thirteen new members have been elected to the Academy's board of trustees. These new members will serve on the board during a time of unprecedented excitement in the organization's 155-year history. Anticipation is building, not only around the opening of the new Renzo Piano-designed facility on September 27, but around the abundance of opportunities that lie ahead for the new Academy. The new board members are as follows:

James N. "Jamie" Alexander is a Founder and Managing Partner of Oak Hill Investment Management, LP, and has played key roles in the formation of Oak Hill Strategic Partners, LP; Oak Hill REIT Management, LLC; and Platinum Grove Asset Management, LP. Previously, Mr. Alexander held senior leadership roles at Robert M. Bass in Texas, and Goldman, Sachs & Co.

He is a graduate of Montana State University where he received BS degrees in Mathematics and Economics, Australian National University where he earned an MS degree in International Economics, and Stanford Graduate School of Business where he received an MBA.

Susan Desmond-Hellmann is President of Product Development at Genentech. Prior to joining Genentech in 1999, she held a position with Bristol-Meyers Squibb's Pharmaceutical Research Institute. Dr. Hellmann is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology and completed her clinical training at UCSF. She received her BS degree in pre-medicine and her medical degree from the University of Nevada, Reno. She also holds a Master of Public Health degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

John H. N. Fisher is Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, a global venture capital firm founded in 1985. Mr. Fisher serves on the firm's Executive Committee, and on numerous corporate boards. Previously, Mr. Fisher held positions with Alex Brown & Sons, and Bank of America. Mr. Fisher graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College with a degree in History of Science, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School. Mr. Fisher also serves on the board of Common Sense Media. He and his wife, Jennifer Caldwell, have been members of the Academy since 2000.

Peter M. Folger is Co-founder and Senior Counsel at Folger Levin & Kahn LLP. During law school, he served as extern law clerk to Associate Justice Raymond L. Sullivan of the California Supreme Court. He has been a member of the California Bar since 1973, and his practice focuses on labor and employment law counseling and litigation. Mr. Folger joined the Board of the Academy in 2007.

Rosemary G. Gillespie joined the faculty at the University of California, Berkeley in 1999 and is currently a Professor of Arthropod Systematics in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management. She also holds the Schlinger Chair of Systematics and serves as Director of the Essig Museum of Entomology and Chair of the Berkeley Natural History Museums. She is currently President-elect of the American Arachnological Society, and serves on the boards of the Natural Science Collections Alliance and the American Genetics Association. She was elected a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences in 2000.

Dr. Gillespie is also a past recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring; the Regents' Medal for Excellence in Research from the University of Hawaii. She received a BS degree in Zoology from Edinburgh University and a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee.

Nelson Ishiyama is currently President of Ishiyama Corporation, a diversified company with operations in Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and the Far East. Mr. Ishiyama practiced antitrust litigation for 17 years, before venturing away from law to build and operate a lodge in Idaho. He served as a Trustee of the Academy from 1994 to 2005, and has also served on the Stanford Law School Board of Visitors, and the boards of the Exploratorium, Hearing Society for the Bay Area, and the Henry's Fork Foundation. Since childhood, he has taken a keen interest in the natural sciences, and has been an avid fan of the Academy since the third grade. Mr. Ishiyama rejoined the Board of the Academy in 2007.

Sharon Long is a Professor of Biology in the school of Humanities and Sciences at Stanford University. Dr. Long joined the Stanford faculty in 1982, and later served as Dean for six years. She has received numerous honors including a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, the Shell Foundation Research Award, and the Charles A. Schull Award from the American Society of Plant Physiology. Dr. Long received her BS degree from the California Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. from Yale University.

Craig Moritz is a long-time leader in the study of molecular evolution and molecular systematics. His studies include work on beetles, birds, bats, nematodes, and mollusks, but have concentrated on reptiles and amphibians. He has been Professor of Integrative Biology and Director of the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California at Berkeley since 2001. He was elected a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences in 2002, and joined the Board of the Academy in 2007.

William T. "Bill" Morrow is CEO and President of Pacific Gas and Electric Company – the utility providing natural gas and electric service to about 15 million Californians throughout the northern and central parts of the state. He began his career with Pacific Telephone (now AT&T) and has previously held senior leadership positions with Vodafone in Europe, Japan, and the United Kingdom, and with Japan Telecom. Mr. Morrow joined the Board of the Academy in 2007.

Susan C. Oberndorf spent six years in management at the Crocker National Bank in San Francisco. She currently serves as a Trustee of the Breakthrough Collaborative, is a member of the Megan Furth Academy and serves in various volunteer roles at Stanford University. Mrs. Oberndorf has also been a member of the Junior League of San Francisco, a Trustee for the San Francisco Zoo and a Trustee for the Cathedral School for Boys. She joined the Board of the Academy in 2007.

William S. "Bill" Price, III is a co-founder and partner emeritus of TPG Capital, LP (formerly Texas Pacific Group). Mr. Price served on the firm's investment committee for 15 years, during which they acquired Burger King, Continental Airlines, Neiman Marcus and many other global firms. Mr. Price is currently a member of Presidio Financial Partners LLC's advisory board, and has previously served on the board of directors for Bally International AG, Beringer Wine Estates, Cranium Inc., Del Monte Foods Company, Punch Taverns, Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., and others.

In 2002, Mr. Price founded Three Sticks Winery, and is also a stakeholder in Kistler Vineyards. He serves as board member for non-profits including Common Sense Media, the J. David Gladstone Institutes, the California Mentor Foundation, the Dignity Fund, and

Jill Tarter is a leader in astronomy and astrophysics. Her research currently focuses on rigorous scientific approaches to the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life using radio-astronomical techniques (SETI). She spent eighteen years as a Research Scientist and Research Astronomer at UC Berkeley, and then worked as Project Scientist for six years of NASA's SETI program (HRMS). She now holds the Bernard M. Oliver Chair, and is Director of the Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute in Mountain View, CA.

Dr. Tarter is also dedicated to the education of future scientists, and has developed two K-12 science curriculum enrichment programs, with funding from the NSF and NASA. She was elected a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences in 2003, and joined the Board of the Academy in 2007.

Mary Zlot is an art consultant based in San Francisco. After developing an art consulting division for the architecture and design firm Environmental Planning and Research, Inc. (EPR), she established her own firm, Mary Zlot & Associates, in 1983. In addition to her work as an art advisor, Mary serves on SFMOMA's Education Committee and the Board of California College of the Arts, and is part of the Collectors Committee of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Mrs. Zlot joined the Board of the Academy in 2007.