Jennifer Friend Smith
Trustee Jennifer Friend Smith ’95 is the CEO of Project Hope Alliance. Steve Zylius / UCI

Irvine, Calif., Aug. 19, 2021 — Since January 2018, 13 prominent community members – including corporate executives, attorneys, doctors and philanthropic leaders – have joined the board of trustees of the UCI Foundation at the University of California, Irvine.

UCI Foundation trustees, who serve three-year terms, advise university leadership on matters related to investments and philanthropy while mobilizing current and new supporters to help grow UCI’s endowment. They also advance fundraising efforts aligned with the priorities of the university’s Brilliant Future campaign, which recently passed the halfway mark with $1 billion raised for scholarships, research, patient care, educational facilities and other initiatives. Currently, there are 60 voting trustees, 14 ex officio (nonvoting) trustees and six emeritus trustees.

“This is an exciting and strategic time of growth for both the university and the board,” said Brian Hervey, vice chancellor for university advancement and alumni relations and president of the UCI Foundation. “UCI would not be the institution it is today without its trustees. Those who have served many years have shaped the university, and those who joined very recently will be part of advancing our brilliant future.”

The existing trustees set out to add people with a variety of backgrounds to the board, said UCI Foundation Chair Julie Hill: “A diversity of perspectives makes any organization stronger, so we identified certain areas where we felt we wanted greater representation, and we recruited new members accordingly.”

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the board met virtually and made progress on programs. The crisis made clear the value of UCI’s initiatives related to student health and welfare, as well as the need for the planned UCI Medical Center in Irvine.

“In addition, we were able to continue to be ambassadors for UCI in our varying communities, and we kept on advocating for, and communicating about, our spectacular achievements at UCI,” Hill said. “I’m incredibly proud of UCI and want to share all its brilliance and capacity with the wider Orange County and California community.”

Over the next couple of years, she said, she aims to bring trustees closer to students while also supporting the second half of the Brilliant Future campaign.

  • Thomas H. Nielsen
    Thomas H. Nielsen

The new trustees are:

Duraid S. Antone

Vice president of sales, North America, CathWorks

Steven M. Borowski ’79

President, Aristotle Capital Management LLC

Mary K. Carrington

Attorney at law

Teresa Godfrey ’86

Chief financial and administrative officer, Learning Policy Institute

Denise Hall

Retired attorney

Hans Imhof

Partner, K5 Ventures

Sandra J. Jackson

Co-founder, Samueli Academy

Elim Kay

President, Kay Family Foundation

Twyla Reed Martin

President, Mont Pelerin Capital LLC

President, Charles D. & Twyla R. Martin Foundation

Farzad Massoudi ’84

Neurosurgery specialist, Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo

Stephen Peepels

Head of U.S. securities, Asia-Pacific, Hogan Lovells

Jennifer Friend Smith ’95

CEO, Project Hope Alliance

Gaddi H. Vasquez

Former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations

Former senior vice president of government affairs, Edison International & Southern California Edison

Six ex officio (nonvoting) trustees have also been recently named to two-year terms.

Melissa A. Beck, MBA ’12

President, Anonymous Philanthropy

(representing the UCI Alumni Association)

Peter J. Fischler ’80

Independent real estate developer

(representing the School of Social Ecology)

Diana L. Hendel ’85

Senior partner, Partnership Advantage

(representing the School of Biological Sciences)

Sam Jilanchi ’94

Managing partner, Qwan Cos.

(representing the School of Humanities)

Lawrence N. Kugelman

Former president and CEO, Health Plan of America

(representing the School of Social Sciences)

Ivan L. Williams, MBA ’96

Executive producer and executive vice president, Scenario Entertainment

(representing the Claire Trevor School of the Arts)

In addition, two emeritus trustees were appointed in 2020.

Martha A. Newkirk ’72, M.A. ’76, Ph.D. ’81

Thomas H. Nielsen

About the UCI’s Brilliant Future campaign: Publicly launched on October 4, 2019, the Brilliant Future campaign aims to raise awareness and support for UCI. By engaging 75,000 alumni and garnering $2 billion in philanthropic investment, UCI seeks to reach new heights of excellence in student success, health and wellness, research and more. Learn more by visiting:

About the University of California, Irvine: Founded in 1965, UCI is the youngest member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and is ranked among the nation’s top 10 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The campus has produced three Nobel laureates and is known for its academic achievement, premier research, innovation and anteater mascot. Led by Chancellor Howard Gillman, UCI has more than 36,000 students and offers 224 degree programs. It’s located in one of the world’s safest and most economically vibrant communities and is Orange County’s second-largest employer, contributing $7 billion annually to the local economy and $8 billion statewide. For more on UCI, visit

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