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Rafael and Marina Pastor Help Shape Faculty Excellence with a $1 Million Gift


The University of California San Diego has received a $1 million gift from business leader Rafael Pastor and his wife, Marina, to support the Rady School of Management and the School of Global Policy and Strategy. With this gift—to be matched dollar for dollar by the UC San Diego Chancellor’s Faculty Fellowship Challenge—two leading professional schools will enhance their capability to retain and attract world-class faculty to campus.

The donation will create the Rafael and Marina Pastor Chancellor’s Rady School of Management Endowed Faculty Fellowships and the Rafael and Marina Pastor Chancellor’s Endowed School of Global Policy and Strategy Faculty Fellowships. This gift also supports the Campaign for UC San Diego, the university’s $2 billion comprehensive fundraising effort to empower the next generation of innovators to blaze a new path toward revolutionary ideas, unexpected answers, life-saving discoveries and planet-changing impact.

“With this gift, Rafael and Marina Pastor are providing fellowships that will assist with recruiting outstanding faculty and help us realize our teaching and research mission,” said Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Their donation will create a lasting legacy at UC San Diego.”

Pastor added, “Marina and I reached the point where we wanted to do something of significance for San Diego. It seems to me, both historically and currently, that there's no single greater driver of what this city is than UC San Diego. It has boosted the economy and the reputation of this city. Not just academically but more broadly. It is really an amazingly successful institution.”

At the Rady School of Management, the gift will endow two faculty fellowships at $250,000 each to support efforts for UC San Diego faculty affiliated with the U.S.­-Israel Center on Innovation and Economic Sustainability. The faculty awarded the fellowships will focus research, teaching and programs on the influence and exchange of entrepreneurship, innovation and economic development between the United States and Israel.

The gift will also endow two faculty fellowships at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at $250,000 each to focus on analyzing the challenges and solutions to international commercial diplomacy and economic governance. The faculty awarded the fellowships will focus their research and teaching on topics which influence choices to be made by policymakers and leaders in the international business community. 

Pastor noted that he was inspired to support both schools because of his combined interest in international relations and international business. He has had a successful career spanning the entertainment and media, education, and financial services sectors. Pastor was able to shape the faculty fellowships at both schools to address an important, unmet need as well as align to what is important to him and Marina.

The couple hope their donation will prompt others to decide to support UC San Diego. “We encourage others to follow in our footsteps,” Pastor said. “If you are grateful in general for where you are in life, show your gratitude in some tangible way where you can make a difference. Support what actually speaks to who you are and what got you to where you are.”

“We are deeply thankful for the generous investment from the Pastors,” said Peter F. Cowhey, dean of the School of Global Policy and Strategy. “It is especially fitting this year as we celebrate the school’s 30th anniversary – a time when we are not only reflecting on our past achievements but forging ahead to conduct policy-relevant research shaping peace and prosperity in the 21st Century.”

Robert S. Sullivan, dean of the Rady School of Management, noted the impact the gift will have at the school. “The extraordinary investment of the Pastors helps to address the greatest needs of our school; that is, to attract and retain world-class faculty,” Sullivan said. “In this specific case, it will support faculty who inspire our innovation economy through a dynamic exchange and understanding involving students and colleagues in Israel.”

“The monumental gift from Rafael and Marina Pastor is greatly important for the school,” said Ernest Rady, naming donor of the Rady School. “The support of two great community leaders is a signal that demonstrates the school is worth investing in and continuing to grow. This means a lot to me because Rafael and I have been friends, Marina too, for over 15 years. They are great people.”

Throughout his career, based in New York, Pastor has held senior executive positions at international corporations including CEO of Hoyts Cinemas Corporation; President of USA Networks International; Executive Vice President, International, of News Corporation and Fox Television International; and President of CBS/Fox Video International. He is also a founding partner of an investment-banking firm. Pastor moved to San Diego in 2004 and from that time to 2013, he was Chairman of the Board and CEO of Vistage International, the world’s largest for-profit CEO membership company. Currently, he serves on the boards of and is an investor in a range of companies. He is active in the UC San Diego community and is currently the chairman of the International Advisory Board at the School of Global Policy and Strategy, and a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council at the Rady School. He was born in Israel to Hungarian parents, and speaks several languages.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia and with an advanced degree in Interior Design and Graphic Arts, Marina Pastor owned and operated one of America’s foremost restoration of object-of-art firms in New York, which she sold before moving with Rafael to San Diego. She is a community leader in San Diego and Rancho Santa Fe, where she and Rafael reside. Marina has been involved with and supported the International Bipolar Foundation, La Jolla Music Society and various women’s groups at UC San Diego. She has served on the Board of the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club, and is currently a board member at the Rancho Santa Fe Women’s Fund and the North Coast Repertory Theatre.