Meet the Experts

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

Visit Us

The FRCP team is located on the fourth floor of the Golden Bear Extension building in suite #401.

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. 

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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
  • School of Public Health
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Student Affairs
  • Undergraduate Education
  • L & S - Social Sciences
  • Graduate School of Education
  • Graduate Division
  • Social Science Focused Organized Research Units

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Aaron Diaz, Associate Director

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

  • Department of Integrative Biology
  • Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
  • Division of Data Sciences
  • Division of Math and Physical Sciences
  • College of Chemistry
  • College of Engineering
  • College of Natural Resources
  • School of Optometry
  • School of Information
  • Any research units or programs affiliated with the above

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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:

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

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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 staff to ensure organization record integrity in CADS.

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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. 

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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. 

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University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR)

The FRCP team is a division of University Development and Alumni Relations (UDAR), formerly University Relations, 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.