Margarita Gandia was born in Cuba, and immigrated to the United States in 1966, settling in California. After receiving a B.A. in mathematics from UC Berkeley, she began her career in information technology. She headed information technology organizations in both the oil and gas industry and in the financial services industry and held multiple other management positions. She currently devotes most of her time to volunteer service and philanthropy. In addition to serving on the Founder’s Council of the Williams Institute, she currently serves or previously served on the boards of the San Francisco Opera, the Horizons Foundation, National AIDS Memorial Grove, and the Bay Area Non-Partisan Alliance.