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Martha Leon, Executive Director, Kern Medical Foundation

Martha Leon is a seasoned development professional with a rich history of driving strategic fundraising initiatives for esteemed academic institutions and nonprofit organizations. Currently, in her role as Executive Director of the Kern Medical Foundation, Martha leads the department through visionary leadership and impactful collaboration with academic and healthcare institutions in Kern County. She is committed to executing ambitious fundraising goals and creating new innovative programs at Kern Medical. For the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), Martha demonstrated her expertise in navigating the full spectrum of development strategies. From executing a $10M annual unit plan to establishing innovative programs such as the Biological Sciences Community Success Center and Bio Corporate Affiliates Program, she played a pivotal role in enhancing the school's ties with the industry.

Martha's commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion is evident in her leadership of initiatives that secured $5M towards student programs and involved executive-level women in focus groups. Her influence extended beyond campus borders, collaborating with legislative officials to expand climate eradication efforts and student success.

Prior to her role at UCSD, Martha served as the Director of Development for the Division of University Advancement at California State University, Bakersfield. There, she led comprehensive fundraising efforts for various academic units, lobbied for state funding, and managed metric systems for prospect research.

Martha's dedication to community service is exemplified through her involvement in organizations such as the Dolores Huerta Foundation, where she contributed to strategic plans and successfully executed a $2M revenue goal. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Resource Management from California State University, Bakersfield.

Martha actively contributes to the Development field through memberships in professional associations, including the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She is also a valued member of various committees and boards, reflecting her commitment to leadership, diversity, and community engagement.