A Note from the Chamberlins


Susan and I founded the Chamberlin Family Foundation in 2006 to help improve public school education in Richmond, our home for more than 20 years. We’re very proud to have begun our academic paths in public schools. In fact, graduating from Roosevelt High School on Oahu, Hawaii, was instrumental in preparing us to build successful careers.

Now in our 70s, and recently retired, we asked ourselves: How do we pay it forward?

We were – and still are – deeply concerned about the economic inequity in Richmond. We also know that strong public schools are the cornerstone of a strong community. We hoped to help find a solution by contributing in a meaningful way to our local community. We started our foundation to support the people and ideas that would help create those strong K-12 public schools.

Separate from our work at the Foundation, we advocate for improved West Contra Costa public schools through Education Matters, a not-for-profit organization we launched in 2014.

With a great public school in every neighborhood across West Contra Costa, each student will have a chance to reach his or her full potential.

– Steve and Susan Chamberlin

See Who We Fund

Learn More About Our Founders

+ Steve Chamberlin

Steve Chamberlin spent more than 40 years working in real estate as a developer and builder. He also served as an Adjunct Professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley from 1987 through 2003, and received the CAL Award for teaching excellence. In 2016, Steve and Susan were honored as the Haas School’s Business Leaders of the Year.

In 1989, Steve created the NAIOP Challenge, an annual real estate competition between UC Berkeley and Stanford, now replicated across the country. He has also lectured at Stanford, University of Pennsylvania, Cornell, Clemson, and the University of Hawaii, among others. This teaching experience deepened his commitment to education and instructional quality.

A graduate of University of Hawaii’s College of Business, Steve has been inducted into the school’s Hall of Honor for distinguished graduates. He holds a M.A. in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Steve met Susan in high school, and they have been married for more than 50 years. Today, Steve maintains his conviction that all children deserve access to quality public schools.

+ Susan Chamberlin

Susan Chamberlin has enjoyed a rewarding career in architecture, and is now focusing on the philanthropic work of the Chamberlin Family Foundation. As 20-year residents of Richmond, Calif., Susan and Steve focus their philanthropic efforts on their home community.

In the 1960s, Susan was one of just two women at Cornell University to complete its demanding architectural program. She went on to earn a Master’s of Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. She was a Lecturer at the Haas School for five years, and continues to serve today as a governor of the Urban Land Institute.

Susan is also on the University of California Berkeley Foundation Board of Trustees and serves on the Advisory Board of the Center for Social Sector Leadership at the Haas School. In 2016, the Chamberlins were honored as the Haas School’s Business Leaders of the Year.

Susan is proud to be a product of K-12 public schools. Susan recalls her parents’ deep commitment to public schools, which she shares to this day. It drives her respect for the teaching profession and her deep commitment to supporting excellence in public schools.