Board of Directors

Investment Committee Chair


The Organization and Its Founder

Arnold O. Beckman was an educator, an accomplished scientist, a bold entrepreneur, a civic leader, and a world-renowned philanthropist and humanitarian. Throughout his life, Dr. Beckman paved the way for myriad scientific breakthroughs and the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation continues this legacy today. Founded in 1977, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation is a not-for-profit foundation that makes grants to promote research in chemistry and the life sciences. Dr. Beckman and his wife, Mabel, were partners in every sense of the word and, when he retired, they became increasingly active as philanthropists. Throughout his long life, Arnold Beckman was as respected as he was admired. Recognized as a brilliant scientist and inventor, he was also known as a devoted family man and friend. Considered one of the top five inventors of scientific instruments in the 20th century, Dr. Beckman created devices that revolutionized the study and understanding of chemistry and human biology. The hallmark of his highly decorated career, though, was always his personal integrity and his love for science. Dr. Beckman received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering and a master’s degree in physical chemistry from the University of Illinois, and a doctorate in photochemistry from the California Institute of Technology, where he also served as an assistant professor, and later as Chairman of their Board of Trustees. While he was still teaching, Dr. Beckman founded National Technical Laboratories (which later became Beckman Instruments and ultimately Beckman Coulter) in 1935 with the invention of the acidimeter, a forerunner of the modern pH meter. It quickly became an indispensable tool in analytical chemistry and earned him a place in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 1987. Dr. Beckman continued to develop and manufacture scientific instruments, leading to the release of the Beckman DU Spectrophotometer in 1941, which revolutionized chemical analysis. These extraordinary contributions led President George Herbert Walker Bush to award Dr. Beckman the National Medal of Science in 1989 for his leadership in analytical instrumentation development and for his deep concern for the vitality of the nation’s scientific enterprises. He was also nationally recognized during the Reagan administration with the 1989 Presidential Citizens Medal for his exemplary deeds of service and the 1988 National Medal of Technology for outstanding technological contributions to the United States. His innovations revolutionized science; his philanthropy continues to do so. The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation invests millions of dollars each year in institutions and people that are performing cutting-edge research. The Beckman Foundation currently has around $600 million in assets under management and grants approximately $30 million annually. About 60% of this annual funding is directed to individual scientists/programs and the remaining 40% supports the five named Beckman Institutes. The Beckman Foundation supports scientific achievement through various programs, including the Beckman Scholars Program, the Beckman Young Investigators Program, the Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, and the OC Beckman Legacy Scholarship Award. The Beckman Young Investigators (BYI) Program provides research support to the most promising young faculty members in the first three years of their academic careers in the chemical and life sciences, particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments, and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science. The Beckman Scholars Program is an annual invited program for accredited universities and four-year colleges in the United States that provides mentored research grants that contribute significantly in advancing the education, research training, and personal development of select students in chemistry, biochemistry, and the biological and medical sciences. The Beckman Postdoctoral Fellows program is intended to support postdoctoral scholars with the highest potential for success in an independent academic career in chemistry and to assist in their transition from “mentored yet independent” postdoctoral studies to an independent, tenure-track position. These individuals are expected to become the next generation of leaders and innovators in science, engineering, and technology. The OC Beckman Legacy Scholarship Award was started in 2019 within several high schools in Orange County, California. Students sign up with teacher mentors to build an instrument based on Dr. Beckman’s inventions and then complete an independent research project using their instrument. Winning students are awarded a scholarship to attend a four-year college or university. The Foundation also funds five major research centers: the Beckman Research Institute at the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California; the Beckman Laser Institute, University of California, Irvine; the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; the Beckman Center for Molecular and Genetic Medicine at Stanford University; and the Beckman Institute, California Institute of Technology. For more information about the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, please visit the website:


To promote research in chemistry and life sciences, broadly interpreted, and particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments, and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science through grants to program-related, nonprofit research institutions.


The foundation’s offices are located in Irvine, California. The Board of Directors meets four times annually, in January, in April as part of a day and a half long board retreat, in August during the annual Beckman Symposium, and in October. These meetings are primarily in southern California, though the board occasionally uses their meetings to visit the Stanford Beckman Center or the Beckman Institute at University of Illinois. While in-person attendance is preferred, board members are able to participate virtually if necessary. In light of social distancing and the current pandemic, the board has been meeting exclusively via videoconference since April 2020.

The Role

The Investment Committee Chair is a member of the Board of Directors of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, which provides leadership and strategic guidance for all of the foundation’s activities and grant programs. The board works in partnership with the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Executive Director and the Science Advisory Council to implement these programs. Members of the board may serve consecutive terms of two, three, and five years, up to a maximum of ten years, subject to reappointment at the end of each term. The mandatory age limit for all board members is 80 years old. The Investment Committee Chair will be an individual defined by expertise in investment management to the extent that they can manage a large, diversified portfolio, working with and guiding the foundation’s outside investment advisory firm, Canterbury Consulting. As the primary person responsible for the foundation’s portfolio and guided by the foundation’s Investment Policies, this key decision maker’s activities are fundamental to executing the organization’s mission. This vital volunteer leader heads the foundation’s Investment Management Committee, chairs quarterly meetings, and reports and explicates committee activities and the investment approach, portfolio composition, market conditions, and summaries of portfolio analyses to the full board. Ideally, the next Investment Committee Chair will be selected in early 2021 and will join the board at the end of Q1. The Chair-elect will shadow the current Chair until the conclusion of his term in May of 2022. Board members are not compensated for their service. The foundation will reimburse members for reasonable travel costs to attend board events. After a full year of service on the board, each board member is eligible to participate in two gift programs administered by the foundation:

  • Trustee gifts: up to $50,000/fiscal year to donate to 501(c)(3) organization(s) of their choice;
  • Matching gifts: up to $50,000/fiscal year in matching funds for any board member donations to 501(c)(3) organization(s).

Responsibilities and Duties

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Provides strategic direction and vision such that the foundation remains consistent with the mission statement as articulated by Dr. Beckman and that the foundation’s activities continue to innovate programmatically and remain on the leading edge of work in the scientific community.
  • Approves annual operating budget and reviews annual independent audit reports.
  • Reviews performance and provides direction to the Executive Director of the foundation.

Additional activities include:

  • Ensures the organization is well managed and its mission and stewardship is carried out through appropriate checks, balances, and oversight.
  • Ensures that all operations and activities of the foundation are conducted in compliance with applicable laws, regulations, governance policies, and sound business practices, including bringing forth any legal or ethical concerns to the Chairman of the Board or the full board, as appropriate.
  • Recruits and orients new board members.
  • Each board member serves on at least one standing committee and volunteers for special assignments. Current committees include: Executive, Investment Management, Science Programs, Audit, and Nominating.
  • Reviews and sets policy, as needed, for the consideration of funding requests and program initiatives.
  • Stays well informed about the foundation by carefully reading minutes of the board meetings, financial statements, and other relevant materials. Through personal expertise and awareness, provides insights into community activities and legal/political/business events that may impact the work of the foundation.
  • Fully prepares for and participates in all board activities. This includes reviewing all materials prior to arriving at meetings and being ready to engage in thoughtful dialogue.
    • Four board meetings per year.
    • Committee meetings as needed.
    • Occasional social events to support foundation programs.
  • Promotes the foundation’s mission within the community.
  • Reviews annual reports from the Beckman Institutes/Center to monitor their activities in relation to the goals of the foundation.

Qualifications and Expertise

As the chief fiscal advisor of the foundation’s volunteer leadership, the Investment Committee Chair must possess and project the utmost integrity and highest standards of professional conduct, and must be an individual qualified by accomplishment and experience to exercise the leadership of a capable, collegial, and motivated community. Expected qualifications for all members of the Board of Directors include:

  • Commitment to supporting the mission and philosophy statement of the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, as articulated by Dr. Arnold O. Beckman. Possesses an inherent appreciation and depth of respect for the importance of scientific research and its impact on the global community.
  • Highest level of integrity and firm commitment to the Duty of Loyalty, Duty of Obedience, and Duty of Diligence (provided in the Board Member Handbook).
  • Ability to productively work in teams and committees, and willingness to strive for consensus decisions. Diplomatic in approach to discussions with various groups and stakeholders in a genuine and earnest way. Willingness to engage in a shared leadership approach and willingness to bring forward an individual opinion, as appropriate, during discussions.
  • Understands the contributions that a diversity of life experiences and expertise bring to group discussions and decisions.
  • Appreciates, supports, and fully acknowledges the vital roles that diversity, equity, and inclusion play in the foundation’s support of scientific progress and innovation, and brings those perspectives to group discussions and decisions.
  • Low-ego professional with a track record of success in a dynamic, mission driven organization.
  • Has a high expectations for oneself and all others involved in the work of the foundation.
  • Prior experience on a nonprofit/public board of directors as well as professional experience in strategic planning, evaluating mission delivery, and setting organizational goals and performance metrics are strongly preferred.
  • Maintains a healthy sense of humor, even during debate and deliberations.

Preferred Expertise:

  • Extensive experience and knowledge of investment management principles and best practices.
  • Experience managing a large, diversified portfolio through multiple market cycles, including development of risks analyses, portfolio allocation decisions, and scenario planning.
  • Key decision maker with accountability for portfolio performance and experience developing and evaluating against performance targets.
  • Familiarity with all classes of equity securities, fixed income instruments (including public and private debt), and alternative investments, including hedge funds, private equity, and venture capital.
  • Comfortable collaborating with and directing Canterbury Consulting. Experience assessing individual managers’ performance as part of the larger portfolio strategy.
  • Willingness to assume leadership of the foundation’s investment management committee, to include chairing quarterly meetings, reporting the committee activities, and explaining the investment approach, portfolio composition, market conditions, and summaries of portfolio analyses to the full board.


Interested individuals are encouraged to submit their credentials as soon as possible for full consideration. Complete applications should be submitted electronically and should include: a cover letter articulating interest, a current resume reflecting work experience from college forward, and a list of names, telephone numbers, addresses, and email addresses for five professional references. References will not be contacted without approval/consent.


Shelli Herman, President Shelli Herman and Associates, Inc. 11693 San Vicente Blvd., Suite #104 Los Angeles, California 90049 Office: (800) 396-0595 ext. 5 E-mail: