Talking Philanthropy with Mark Buell

Mark Buell is a native San Franciscan, a graduate of the University of San Francisco and a decorated Vietnam veteran. He has spent 35 years in both public and private real estate development. He served as San Francisco’s first Director of Economic Development under Mayor Joseph Alioto, and later served as the first Director of the Emeryville Redevelopment Agency from 1977 to 1985.

He was a founding member and first President of CALED, the California Association for Local Economic Development and has served on the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission under Dianne Feinstein. Mark serves on the Boards of various non-profit organizations, including the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Bolinas Museum and the Chez Panisse Foundation.

He is currently President of the SF Recreation and Park Commission, and he chairs the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, bringing legendary fundraising skills to the table to ensure Bay Area parkland remains accessible to the public and protected for future generations to enjoy. Projects he is championing include the $35 million restoration of Crissy Field and the development of Cavallo Point.

Mark and his wife Susie Tompkins Buell are long-time MCF donors and MCF is mightily fortunate to have Mark as the Chair of the MCF Board of Directors. 

He sat down with us recently to answer some questions about his personal philanthropy - and a few probing questions about his life.

"It's one thing to give; it's another to be involved in the entity you're giving to."