David Wang

A Philanthropic Legacy

The Pardee RAND Graduate School has received a $1 million gift from the estate of David Wang, a former member of the school's Board of Governors who passed away in February.

September 17, 2020

The Pardee RAND Graduate School has received a $1 million gift from the estate of David Wang, a former member of the school’s Board of Governors who passed away in February.

David and his wife, Cecile, have been longtime Pardee RAND donors. Their past gifts have funded diversity scholarships and expanded diversity initiatives at Pardee RAND. Their support helped launch the school’s Faculty Leaders Program, a training program directed toward scholars at colleges and universities that serve students underrepresented in public policy. As supporters of the RAND Legacy Society, which recognizes those who have made a planned gift to benefit RAND or Pardee RAND, the Wangs’ contributions also included a commitment to the school in their estate plans.

“David was a dedicated philanthropist throughout his life. He and Cecile made so many contributions in service to justice, educational, and arts organizations, from scholarships for first-generation college students in Immokalee to advocacy on behalf of food and farm workers. We are extremely grateful that they had the vision to extend their legacy of philanthropy at Pardee RAND,” said Susan L. Marquis, Frank and Marcia Carlucci Dean of the Pardee RAND Graduate School.

The estate gift will be used to support the growth of the graduate school, including a redesigned focus on both analysis and implementation. New streams of policy and action train students to work hand-in-hand with community partners to structure actionable solutions to big problems. Support for student scholarships, to ensure the graduate program remains accessible to all, is a top priority.

“David was committed to ensuring the most diverse minds and voices are included in the policymaking process,” said Marquis. “We are honored and inspired to build on his leadership, using his investment to help shape the future of public policy and empower the next generation of engaged and informed leaders.”

Wang, who was born in China, moved to the United States as a teenager. He earned an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from George Washington University and a graduate degree in the field from Georgia Tech. Wang worked for Union Carbide Corp. before joining International Paper, one of the largest paper-and-pulp manufacturers in the world, where he served as executive vice president until his retirement in 1991.

His support of Pardee RAND was driven by a commitment to give underrepresented groups a foothold on opportunity. In making a gift to fund the David I. J. Wang annual diversity scholarships, he said: “We know that by investing in these students, we are making a difference, not only in their lives, but in the lives of those who will be touched by their work.”