Mary Gayle Foley Bitterman is president of The Bernard Osher Foundation, a 37-year-old philanthropic organization headquartered in San Francisco that supports higher education and the arts. The Foundation provides post-secondary scholarship funding to colleges and universities across the nation, with special attention to reentry students. It also benefits programs in integrative medicine in the United States and Sweden, including centers at the University of California, San Francisco; Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston; the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden; Northwestern University; and Vanderbilt University. The Foundation also supports a national network of lifelong learning programs for seasoned adults, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes, which currently operate on the campuses of 119 institutions of higher education from Maine to Alaska and Hawaii.
Previously, Mary served as president and CEO of The James Irvine Foundation and before that as president and CEO of KQED, a major American public broadcasting center. She has served as director of the Hawaii Public Broadcasting Authority, the Voice of America, the Hawaii State Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and the East-West Center's Institute of Culture and Communication. Bitterman currently is a director of Bank of Hawaii, Bay Area Council Economic Institute, The Bernard Osher Foundation, Commonwealth Club of California, and the Hawaii Community Foundation, and she chairs the PBS Foundation Board. She also is an Advisory Council member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, the Public Policy Institute of California, and Pacific Forum/CSIS. She is an honorary member of the National Presswomen's Federation and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Bitterman received her B.A. from Santa Clara University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Bryn Mawr College.
You can watch Mary talk about her work in this video.