The Institute was founded in 2001 through a generous grant by businessman, academic, and philanthropist Charles R. “Chuck” Williams. Mr. Williams’ inaugural donation of $2.5 million to create the Williams Institute was the largest donation ever given to any academic institution in support of a gay and lesbian academic program in any discipline. Over the past decade, he has given over $13 million to fund the Institute.
In 2016, the Institute celebrated its 15th Anniversary. Over the last decade, the Institute grew from a small, part-time staff to a staff of 20, including scholars of diverse disciplines and backgrounds.
Eric completed a dual-degree Master’s program at New York University, receiving an MBA in finance from Stern School of Business and an MA in politics (focus on international relations) from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. While at NYU, Eric was honored as a Stern Fellow and worked as an internal strategy associate for Ethicon, a Johnson & Johnson company. Prior to graduate school, Eric worked as a marketing consultant in the tourism and hospitality industries as well as a marketing account executive in consumer packaged goods.
During his career, Eric focused on innovative financial planning solutions for ultra-high-net-worth families. His areas of emphasis include investment strategy, intergenerational wealth transfer, retirement cash flow analysis, philanthropic strategy and advisory, social and impact investing and planning for non-traditional families. In 2013 Eric spearheaded the Credit Suisse LGBT Impact Investing Initiative at Credit Suisse, which led to the creation of the first-ever LGBT equality index and portfolio.
Eric received a BS in finance and a BA in English, summa cum laude, from the University of Florida. Eric is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. Eric maintains a Series 7 and 66 and is licensed in life, health, and variable annuity products. Eric serves on the Founder’s Council of the Williams Institute of UCLA School of Law and on the Lambda Legal Legacy and Planned Giving Council.
After graduating from Cardozo Law School in Manhattan, Brondi Borer opened a family law and mediation practice. The focus of the practice was on gay family law issues such as donor insemination agreements, child support and co-parenting agreements, domestic partnership and dissolution agreements, and second parent adoptions. She represented many gay clients in litigated and mediated divorce actions. During this period in her professional life, Brondi came to understand some of the enormous challenges individuals and families face when a family member comes out and others are not financially and emotionally supportive. In 2001, Brondi shifted direction in her professional life and served as Vice President of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), the self-regulatory body for the interactive software industry, until 2006. Since 1997, Brondi has also taught Family Law and Public Speaking in the Critical Thinking Department of Marymount Manhattan College in New York City.
Brondi is married and is the mother of two college-age children.
Roberta Conroy was a Senior Vice President at The Capital Group Companies, Inc., where she focused on Capital’s global institutional investment management business. Among her responsibilities, she served as a trustee of the Capital Group Foundation. She retired after 23 years with capital and now dedicates significant time to community advocacy and philanthropy. Ms. Conroy serves on the Boards of Lambda Legal and Equality California. She is also a Trustee for the California Science Center Foundation. She completed her undergraduate degree at UCLA and her juris doctorate at Loyola Law School.
Peter Cooper was born in Los Angeles, California and was raised in San Diego California. He attended University of Redlands, majoring in Business Administration and Management. Mr. Cooper worked as an HIV prevention educator for AIDS Foundation San Diego for seven years, under contract for the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta; he is the owner of a commercial/industrial lighting company in San Diego. Currently he serves as the Secretary of the San Diego Youth Symphony and Conservatory, as a board member of The Old Globe Theatre, and of the Blachford-Cooper Foundation, founded with his longtime partner, Norman Blachford, who was also a long-time and beloved member of the Williams Institute Founders Council, among many other accomplishments.
Mr. Cooper resides in La Jolla, California.
Mitchell Draizin is the founder and President of Longview Capital Advisors, Inc. which serves as investment and mortgage banker to NYC mid-market real estate developers, operators, and owner-users.
He received his BA from George Washington University and his MBA from the Owen School of Management at Vanderbilt University.
Mitch has been actively involved at board level and in some cases co-founder in several national and local philanthropic, education and political initiatives and programs among which are: The Congressional Award Foundation; Point Foundation; Lambda Legal; New Leaders Council; Truman Security Project-CNP; State Innovation Exchange (SiX);Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee LGBT Council; New York City Mayor’s Fund Financial Literacy Project; Thalia Spanish Theater NYC; City University of NY (CUNY) LGBT Leadership Program and Hunter College President’s Advisory Board for its LGBT Public Policy Center. He is a co-founder of the future Bronx LGBT Center as well as the CUNY One Year Internship Program and the NYC Hispanic Cultural Center.
He created and teaches a Financial Literacy Senior year course at Hunter Manhattan Science High School.
Diane J. Fuchs
Diane Fuchs has over twenty-six years of legal experience in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation and is now at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, PLLC. She represents business entities, employers, executives, non-profit organizations and trade associations. Diane is a recent past President of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and continues to serve on its Board of Governors. Diane is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell and has been selected as one of the Best Lawyers in America and as a Super Lawyer in the Washington, DC region. Her pro bono work has included: Pro Bono Counsel to American Youth Understanding Diabetes Abroad, Inc., 1996-present; Member, Board of Directors, CrossCurrents Foundation, Inc., 2006-present; Member, Board of Directors, Washington Chamber Symphony, 1995-1998. Diane graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers University and attended the London School of Economics before receiving her J.D. from Rutgers School of Law.
Margarita Gandia was born in Cuba, and immigrated to the United States in 1966, settling in California. After receiving a BA degree in mathematics at UC Berkeley, she began her career in information technology. During this 24-year career, 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 serves on the board of the San Francisco Opera and she is a member of the Horizons Foundation’s Advisory Council.
She previously served three terms on the board of the Horizons Foundation, where she was board chair for two terms. She served on the board of the National AIDS Memorial Grove; over her long tenure at this organization, she served multiple terms as Board Co-chair, several terms as Treasurer and one term as Secretary. She also served on the board of the Bay Area Non-Partisan Alliance, a gay and lesbian political action committee.
Nanette Gartrell, M.D.
Nanette Gartrell, M.D., is a Williams Visiting Distinguished Scholar. Dr. Gartrell also has a Guest Appointment at the University of Amsterdam, and she was previously on the faculty at Harvard Medical School and UCSF. Dr. Gartrell graduated Stanford University (B.A.), University of California (M.D., and completed a psychiatry residency and fellowship at Harvard Medical School.
Gartrell is the principal investigator of the U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), which has been studying planned lesbian since the 1980s. For more than 30 years, this study has been providing information on the dynamics of lesbian-parent families and on the social, psychological, and emotional development of the offspring to specialists in healthcare, family services, adoption, foster care, sociology, feminist studies, education, ethics, same-sex marriage, and public policy.
In 2013, Dr. Gartrell was the recipient of the Association of Women Psychiatrists Presidential Commendation Award for “selfless and enduring vision, leadership, wisdom, and mentorship in the fields of Women’s Mental Health, Ethics, and Gender Research.” In 2014, Dr. Gartrell and her spouse Dr. Dee Mosbacher were awarded the Mathew O. Tobriner Public Service Award from the Legal Aid Society, Employment Law Center.
Mike Gleason and David Kettel
Mike Gleason, CIMC, serves as a Senior Financial Advisor-Wealth Management at Wells Fargo Advisors. In his prior experience as a senior executive for United Parcel Service, Mr. Gleason developed and structured the company’s expansion into Asia in the mid-1980s, and negotiated mergers and acquisitions for Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China, while also spending five of his twelve years with the company living abroad in Hong Kong and Beijing. Mr. Gleason is professionally affiliated with the Investment Management Consultants Association (IMCA) and has served as Vice-Chairman of the Hospice of Orange County. He lives with his partner David Kettel in Los Angeles.
David A. Kettel was educated at the University of California at Davis, from which he earned a B.A. degree in Economics in 1982, and Tulane University School of Law, where he was named a Maritime Scholar and from which he received his J.D. degree in 1985. David practiced civil litigation in Los Angeles from 1985 until 2000, first as an associate and then as a partner at the Los Angeles office of Baker & Hostetler, a firm based in Cleveland, Ohio. In private practice, David tried many cases to verdict and was the lead trial attorney for Long Beach Housing Development Company (“LBHDC”), wherein LBHDC prevailed at trial and on appeal, proving its tax exempt status, Long Beach Housing Development Company v. County of Los Angeles and State Board of Equalization, NC 019229. In 2000, David left private practice and became a Director at LRN, Inc., a leading provider of software solutions for corporate governance, ethics and compliance issues. David subsequently returned to the practice of law and, in 2002, joined the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles. As a federal prosecutor, David works with various federal agencies, including the FBI, IRS, DEA, ATF, Secret Service, and the Department of Homeland Security, and has investigated, prosecuted and tried numerous criminal cases, including matters involving bank fraud, identity theft, narcotics smuggling, child pornography, illegal alien smuggling, and bank robbery. In 2003, David assisted the Secret Service in shutting down one of the largest false identification document factories in Los Angeles and prosecuting its principals. U.S. v. Gary Vazquez, et al., CR 03-1260-SJO. David has also argued successfully before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. David was born in New York and resides in the Hollywood Hills with his husband, Mike Gleason.
Jeffrey S. Haber
Jeffrey Haber is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker. Mr. Haber focuses his practice in land use and real estate development. He has significant experience in all areas of entitlement law, transactional real estate, administrative law and lobbying, construction and architectural law, and political law. Mr. Haber has represented museums, hospitals and motion picture studios, as well as commercial developers of office, hotel, retail, residential and mixed-use projects. Mr. Haber is lead land use and real estate counsel for several public and private companies and entities including Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, The J. Paul Getty Trust, DreamWorks Animation, IAC, and Regent Properties. Mr. Haber has hosted numerous political fund-raisers and is an active contributor to local charities. He provides pro bono counsel to AIDS Project Los Angeles and was Chair of the Board of Directors from 2001 through 2004. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Equality California. He is a licensed California real estate broker and a registered lobbyist in the cities of Los Angeles and West Hollywood. Mr. Haber received his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1987, and his B.A., magna cum laude, in English, from Yale University in 1984.
Laurie F. Hasencamp
Laurie Hasencamp spends most of her time on volunteer community service since she retired from the law in 2002. She is a co-chair of the Williams Institute Founders Council and member of the Williams Institute Legal Council, a member of the board of directors of Equality California, and a member of the National Leadership Council of GLSEN. She is on the Advisory Committee for the Alliance of Housing and Healing (AHH, formed on the merger of the Serra Project and Aid for AIDS), the Advisory Council for the newly formed LA HLPP (legal services for people living with HIV/AIDS), a member of and past chair of the USC Law School Board of Councilors, and a former member of the boards of directors of the Serra Project and the Children Affected by AIDS Foundation. Laurie is a 1985 graduate of USC Law School, and a 1980 graduate of Pomona College. She clerked for the Honorable Warren J. Ferguson, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, following law school. She then practiced bankruptcy law with Latham & Watkins and Irell & Manella before becoming a Legal Research Director at LRN. She has come out of retirement from time to time, to be the Interim Executive Director of The Serra Project (9 months, in 2003), the Interim Managing Director of the Office of Development and Graduate Relations at USC Law School (3 months, in 2004), adjunct lecturer for a section of the USC Law School first-year legal writing class, Interim Chief Operating Officer for a management consulting firm (6 months, in 2010), and Interim Executive Director of Equality California (10 months, in 2012). Before law school, she was an assistant operations officer at Lloyds Bank California. In 2008 she received a Women of Distinction award from USC as a community leader, in 2011 she received the Los Angeles Lesbian & Gay Lawyers Association Co-President’s Award and the City of West Hollywood Paul Starke Warrior Award for her community service work in the LGBT and HIV/AIDS communities, in 2012 she received the Allies for Justice Award from the National Gay and Lesbian Bar Association, and in 2013 she received the Visionary Award from AHH. She is married to Mike Lurey, a recently retired bankruptcy partner at Latham & Watkins and a member of the Williams Institute Legal Council, and former President of the Board of Kehillat Israel. They live in Pacific Palisades, California.
Ambassador (ret.) David Huebner
Ambassador (r.) David Huebner is an international arbitrator and mediator affiliated with JAMS. In addition to 25 years’ experience practicing international law, he has held a variety of senior positions in the Asia Pacific region including US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, chairman and CEO of a large international law firm, founding managing partner of a law office in Shanghai, and special adviser to a member of the National Diet of Japan in Tokyo. A graduate of Princeton University, summa cum laude, and Yale Law School, he is a solicitor in England & Wales, a member of the Bars of CA, NY, and DC, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, and a Distinguished Fellow of the Auckland University of Technology Faculty of Business and Law. The Ambassador received numerous awards for his work as a diplomat, including the U.S. Navy’s Distinguished Public Service Award and Public Affairs Asia’s Gold Standard Award for Social Media Communication. He was the first openly LGBT nominee to be confirmed as Ambassador by the Senate, and the Smithsonian Institute has taken his passport, his spouse’s passport, and other of his materials into its permanent collection of American history.
Arnold D. Kassoy
Arnie Kassoy was born in New York City, grew up in Los Angeles and now makes his home in Santa Barbara and Palm Springs. He has multiple degrees from UCLA (BS, MBA and JD) and an L.L.M. from the London School of Economics & Political Science. He started his legal career as an entertainment and tax/estate planning attorney at Kaplan, Livingston, Berkowitz, Goodwin & Selvin, was a partner at Hardee Barovick Konecky & Braun, a principal/shareholder at Rosenfeld Kassoy & Kraus and more recently Counsel to Manatt Phelps & Phillips. He has written numerous legal articles, lectured extensively and founded and chaired the UCLA Entertainment Tax & Finance Institute. He has been named a Southern California Super Lawyer and has been involved with many nonprofits and charitable organizations.
For many years, Arnie provided free legal services to AIDS patients in Santa Barbara (through Pacific Pride Foundation) and in Los Angeles (through HALSA). He has served on the Boards of: the Beverly Hills Bar Association; Public Counsel; the Fund for Santa Barbara (which supports progressive, grassroots causes in the community); the Santa Barbara International Film Festival; and AIDS RESEARCH ALLIANCE (a cutting edge research organization). Arnie helped his client, Chuck Williams, create the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law where he serves as a member of the Founders Council. He served as President of the Board of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival for four years and as Chairman of the Board of AIDS RESEARCH ALLIANCE for three years. His dog loves him.
John McDonald and Rob Wright
John McDonald was born in Pennsylvania and raised in Los Angeles. He received his BA in Geology from UCLA, was awarded a certificate from the Executive Program at the UCLA Graduate School of Business, and his J.D. is from Western States University School of Law. He is still a member of the California State Bar Association. In 1967, he joined Mullikin Medical Centers, became CEO of Mullikin Medical Enterprises (MME) and lead its expansion from Southern California to Northern California, Washington and Oregon. In 1995, he negotiated the sale of MME to Caremark RX and retired.
Rob Wright was born and raised in Denver. He graduated from the School of Economics at the University of Colorado in Boulder while volunteering his weekends on the National Ski Patrol in Vail. He joined the microfilm division of 3M Co, transferred to Los Angeles and then became a partner at Irwin, Wright & Wallen Advertising.
John and Rob have been together since 1982 and were married in California during the 2008 window period. They were active in supporting the Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center of Los Angeles and gave the lead gift for The Center to purchase their own building in 1995. They are keenly interested and are involved in the work done by the Williams Institute. They endowed the first Chair of Law at the Williams Institute at UCLA and as far as we know, it is the first Chair of Law specifically endowed to study same-sex issues in the law. They live half the year in Beaver Creek, Colorado and the other half in Palm Springs, California. They have given the LGBT Center of the Desert a 10,000 square foot building in Palm Springs in which to house their offices.
Tom Morgan is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Senior Vice President for BECU where he leads the Information Technology Division. BECU is the fourth largest credit union in the United States and the largest in Washington State. With over 30 years of financial services industry experience, Tom is a seasoned senior executive in the areas of technology, operations, and finance.
Previous to joining BECU in 2014, Tom was Home Lending Chief Information Officer at both Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase and served on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Residential Technology Steering Committee. During his tenure in the home lending segment, he oversaw the largest US servicing conversion, including development and implementation of strategies that simplified and streamlined home lending originations, capital markets, and servicing platforms. Previously, Tom served as CIO in Corporate Technology for Washington Mutual and FleetBoston Financial, where his background included managing the acquisition, integration, and divestiture of over 30 financial institutions.
While earning his Bachelor of Sciences degree at the University of Maine, Tom began his banking career serving as Treasurer of the UMO Student Federal Credit Union. He is also a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program and holds a Six Sigma Champion certification. Presently, Tom is a member of the Founders Council of The William’s Institute, a non-profit foundation that is part of the UCLA Law School and is on the Board of Directors of ArtsWest, a non-profit theater company in West Seattle. ArtsWest produces artistic events that provide conversation, incite the imagination and uses live theater as a powerful agent of change. Tom is also on the Founding Board of the University of Washington’s Information School (iSchool), a leader in preparing a rising generation of information leaders to embrace the challenges associated with the way we create, find, store, manipulate, and share information.
Mr. Morgan has also been very active within the LGBT community and was the first executive sponsor for Washington Mutual’s LGBT employee action committee. Mr. Morgan was interviewed by The Advocate for Washington Mutual’s award of being one of the best places to work for LGBT. Most recently he served on Bank of America’s Global Diversity Council and was the executive sponsor for the Bank’s global LGBT employee action committee. Early in his career, Mr. Morgan was a volunteer in Boston’s Aids Action Committee and served as a “Buddy” for Aids patients. Mr. Morgan has also been a major donor to the Human Rights Campaign and other LGBT causes.
Tom Mounteer, the sixth of seven children, born in Albany, New York, moved to Washington, D.C., in 1982, to work for Congressman Gills Long (8th, Louisiana). Tom, a partner in Paul Hastings Washington office since 2001, is a nationally prominent environmental lawyer, helping businesses identify, quantify, and apportion liability as they buy, sell, finance, or lease businesses. Since 1997, Tom has taught both fall and spring semesters at his alma mater, George Washington University Law School (J.D. and LLM), receiving the Distinguished Adjunct Teaching Award in 2009. Tom has written many academic and professional articles on environmental law topics. From 2010 through 2016, Tom served on the board of directors of the Environmental Law Institute, serving as treasurer in 2013-14. Tom was a member of the board of directors of the Federal City Performing Arts Association (Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington) from 2008-14, serving as chairman of the board from 2010-12.
Sandra L. Richards, Executive Director, leads the Business Development efforts focused on the Diverse and Multicultural Markets for Morgan Stanley Wealth Management. The key areas in which the programs Sandra manages focus on connectivity to existing clients, establishing new business relationships while creating an impact in the community. Sandra joined Morgan Stanley’s Global Wealth Management Group in 2007, as a Director – Diversity Specialist. She worked closely with internal and external partners to support the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Previously she was the Development Officer, Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the Jackie Robinson Foundation, in which she was responsible for raising over $3 million annually for the Foundation’s programs. At the age of 29, she was recognized by The Network Journal with the ‘40 Under Forty Award’ for her outstanding accomplishments.
Sandra holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree, both from Seton Hall University. She is also a graduate of the Rutgers University/United Way of Essex and West Hudson County Project Leadership and the National Forum for Black Public Administrator’s Young Leaders Programs.
In 2011, Sandra was named by the African American Chamber of Commerce for Rockland and Westchester Counties as a “Woman of Influence” and in 2008 for the list of “10 Influential Blacks”. Sandra is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and serves on the Board of Directors for the Soledad O’Brien and Brad Raymond Foundation. She resides in New York.
Thomas L. Safran
Thomas Safran is Chairman of Thomas Safran & Associates, developers and managers of affordable multifamily residential housing. His firm specializes in both family and senior low-rent housing and mixed-use developments.
Nationally, Mr. Safran has belonged to such organizations as the Home Builders, the Urban Land Institute, the National Housing Coalition, NAHRO, and the National Leased Housing Association, of which he was a member of the Board of Directors. He has been active locally in Los Angeles nonprofit housing organizations as President of Alternative Living for the Aging and as Vice President of Menorah Housing Foundation, and as a member of the Corporate Fund for Housing. In addition, Mr. Safran has volunteered in his community serving on local boards: homeowner associations in Brentwood and Bel Air, 15 years on the San Vicente Design Review Board, Chair of the San Vicente Improvement Association, Treasurer of Brentwood Green, and Business Representative on the Brentwood Neighborhood Community Council. He is also a founder of both the Museum of Contemporary Art and on the Board of The Music Center of Los Angeles County.
Mr. Safran has a Bachelors Degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut (where he was on the Board of Fellows), and an MBA from UCLA where he is a Chancellors Associate. Prior to establishing his own company in 1974, he held various positions over a five-year period with the Los Angeles Area, Chicago Regional, and Washington, D.C. Central offices of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Todd Sears is the Founder and Principal of Out Leadership, the global LGBT+ business advisory company that partners with the world’s most influential firms to build business opportunity, cultivate talent, and drive equality forward.
More than 300 global CEOs have engaged in Out Leadership’s work, and the organization counts more than 65 major companies as members. Thousands of LGBT+ and ally executives share insights and best practices at Out Leadership’s annual Summits in New York, London, Hong Kong and Sydney. Many more engage with its global talent initiatives including OutNEXT, the first global development program for the next generation of LGBT+ executives; OutWOMEN, its groundbreaking effort to connect and celebrate Out LBT+ women in business; and Quorum, the first effort to place senior LGBT+ executives on corporate boards.
A former investment banker, Todd specialized in wealth management at Merrill Lynch, creating the first national team of financial advisors on Wall Street focused on the LGBT+ community, which brought over $1.4 billion of new assets to the firm. Todd then moved into diversity leadership, as Head of Diversity & Strategic Initiatives at Merrill Lynch and then at Credit Suisse, where he served as Americas Head of Diversity and Inclusion.
A graduate of Duke University and Woodberry Forrest School, Todd is also an active philanthropist and community leader. He is the founding co-chair of Jeffrey Fashion Cares, a fundraiser supporting LGBT+ civil rights, youth and HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention, which has applied an innovative cost-structure to raise millions of dollars since its inception.
Todd serves on the nonprofit boards of The Williams Institute of UCLA, The Palette Fund, and Lambda Legal. In 2014 he received Aid for AIDS International’s My Hero Award; in 2015 he received the Minority Corporate Counsel Association’s Paula L. Ettelbrick Award for achievements in advancing LGBT attorneys.
Stu Walter has enjoyed two very diverse careers, that of a Contractor and a Controller. While living in Pennsylvania, he was a contractor involved in numerous distinguished projects. After his return to California, Stu has served as the Controller of Aids Research Alliance of America. Stu also serves as Secretary/Treasurer of the Big Rock Mesas Property Owners Association. Stu is an avid sailor and traveler.
Charles R. Williams
Mr. Williams is the President of Williams & Associates and received his B.A. and M.B.A. from UCLA. Until 1985, Mr. Williams worked as a senior executive for Sperry Corporation, where he held several positions, including Vice President for Strategic and Business Planning and Vice President and General Manager for Worldwide Operations. Most recently, he has taught business courses in policy and strategy and consults in this area. Mr. Williams is currently a board member of the UCLA Foundation, as well as a member of the Gill Foundation’s OutGiving Advisory Committee. Mr. Williams has been recognized by various LGBT organizations and publications. In 2002, the Lesbian and Gay Bar Association honored him with their Co-President’s Award, and OUT magazine named him one of their “Out 100” in the December issue. In October 2003, the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center presented Williams with its Board of Directors Award. Mr. Williams’ inaugural donation of $2.5 million to create the Williams Institute was the largest donation ever given to any academic institution in support of a gay and lesbian academic program in any discipline. As the institute has grown, Mr. Williams has given over $12 million to support the organization’s programs. Because of his generosity and support, the Institute has impacted policy throughout the country on important LGBT issues.
Rabbi Barbara Zacky
Rabbi Barbara Zacky was born in Los Angeles, California. She attended San Diego State University in San Diego, California where she earned her BA in Physical Education and Health. While working, she continued her education earning her MBA in general business at National University in San Diego, California. After dedicating many years working for various manufacturing firms in California and Arizona she returned back to Los Angeles where she cared for her mother. While caring for her mother she understood her purpose in life and pursued her studies at the Academy for Jewish Religion, California and received Rabbinic Ordination and earned her Masters in Rabbinic Studies emphasizing in pastoral care. She continues to provide spiritual care to families and individuals as well as advocates for social justice.