About Us

Foundation Relations and Corporate Philanthropy

The Office of Foundation Relations & Corporate Philanthropy advances UC Berkeley’s public mission of teaching, learning, research and social justice as a trusted partner in collaborative, strategic fundraising, by working closely both with campus and foundation partners.

Meet the Team

Sylvia Bierhuis, Executive Director

Sylvia is an energetic team-player and strong supporter of public higher education, with over 10 years of progressive C&F fundraising experience at Berkeley. She has worked extensively with faculty, deans, senior leadership and others to build effective fundraising strategies that work to the benefit of the university, the larger community, and Berkeley's organizational partners.

Sylvia currently manages the central Foundation Relations and Corporate Philanthropy team, which is housed within University Development and Alumni Relations. Previously, she worked in Corporate Relations for the College of Engineering at Berkeley. Sylvia has a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia and a MPA from Cal State East Bay. 

Sylvia serves as a liaison to the following campus units:

  • Principal Gifts-Strategic Initiatives (UDAR)
  • Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research

  • School of Public Health

  • Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS)

Email - sbierhuis@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)

David M. Siegfried, Director

David's work involves the development of large campus-wide interdisciplinary proposals. He also manages a portfolio of foundations focused on education, equity and social justice issues. Prior to joining FRCP in 2010 as the Sr. Research Analyst, David worked as a public high school teacher and community educator. He is a proud graduate of Bard College.

David serves as liaison to the following campus units:

  • School of Social Welfare
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Student Affairs
  • L&S - Social Sciences
  • Undergraduate Education
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Graduate Division
  • Social Science Focused Organized Research Units (ORUs)

Email - dsiegfried@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)

Aaron Diaz, Associate Director

Aaron maintains a portfolio of STEM-focused foundations and serves as liaison to the following colleges, schools, divisions and departments:

  • Division of Data Sciences
  • L&S - Math and Physical Sciences
  • L&S - Biological Sciences
  • College of Chemistry
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Natural Resources
  • School of Optometry
  • STEM Focused ORUs
  • Any research units or programs affiliated with the above

Email - aaron.diaz@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)

Margaret Guerrero, Associate Director

Margaret's work includes the development of large, complex proposals and the management of a portfolio of foundations focused on public policy, urban and regional issues, international development, and the arts and humanities. Prior to joining the FRCP team, Margaret was the Director of Foundation Relations for Rice University. Margaret has a B.S. in Communication Studies and a MPA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Margaret serves as liasion to the following campus units:

  • School of Journalism
  • Berkeley's School of Law
  • College of Environmental Design
  • Haas School of Business
  • Goldman School of Public Policy
  • Arts & Humanities division
  • Humanities ORUs 

  • Regional and Area Studies ORUs

  • Business and Law ORUs
  • Cal Performances
  • Berkeley Library

Email - mguerrero@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail) 

Nell Payne, Assistant Director

Nell began her career in higher education over 25 years ago in the financial aid & scholarships office at a small liberal arts college in the Pacific Northwest. While serving students and families with their financial aid packages, Nell gained a deep knowledge of databases and honed her skills as a financial and technical analyst. After several years in financial aid, the field of fundraising beckoned her and her unique combination of interpersonal service skills and technical abilities.

At Berkeley, Nell works to ensure donors’ gifts and grants are allocated, tracked and reported on correctly. She assists FRCP and campus colleagues with proposals and works to ensure their corporate and foundation fundraising work is reflected in the development database (CADS.) Nell also works with UDAR AIM staff to ensure organization record integrity in CADS.

Email - npayne@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)

Karen (Mui) Lee, Assistant Director 

Karen currently serves as the FRCP senior researcher and prospect development liaison, collaborating with units across all areas of campus to explore funding and partnership opportunities, helping with strategy development, and assisting with portfolio management.  Prior to UC Berkeley, she served on Prospect Development teams at Santa Clara University and at Cal State East Bay. 

Email - kmui@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)(link sends e-mail)

Jillian Parlee, Development Assoicate

 Jillian supports the Executive Director and members of the Foundation Relations & Corporate Philanthropy team in ensuring that partnership opportunities are in alignment with the University’s values and mission of teaching, research, and public service. Additionally she oversees the quarterly newsletter, maintains the FRCP web presence, coordinates event logistics and navigates special assignments designed to meet and benefit the needs of FRCP. 

Email - jillianp@berkeley.edu(link sends e-mail)

Meet the Foundation Relations & Corporate Philanthropy Team!

Pictured from left to right: David Siegfried, Jillian Parlee, Sylvia Bierhuis, Margaret Guerrero, Nell Payne, Karen (Mui) Lee, Aaron Diaz

University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR)

The FRCP team is a division of University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR); which increases support for and enhances knowledge of UC Berkeley through communications, public outreach, and fundraising. The department is responsible for centralized fundraising and donor engagement, and works to strengthen unit development offices by consulting and partnering with campus fundraisers. University Development and Alumni Relations also handles a range of central activities and services encompassing events, communications, stewardship, prospect development, gift management, database management, and more.

UC Berkeley Foundation (UCBF)

University Development and Alumni Relations encompasses the UC Berkeley Foundation (UCBF), a California nonprofit public benefit corporation established to secure support for the University. The UCBF is also Cal's primary vehicle for enlisting fundraising volunteers from the private sector. The UCBF is staffed by University Development and Alumni Relations leadership.