Photo of Gordon in a gray suit standing beneath a tree.
Photo of Gordon Rausser by Keegan Houser.

A commitment to excellence: Gordon Rausser’s visionary leadership and extraordinary gift

At his home nestled in the Berkeley Hills, Professor Gordon Rausser sits in his office, surrounded by bookshelves filled with academic journals. Rausser’s research has appeared in many of these publications over the course of his illustrious career, but before all that began, the award-winning economist pursued other paths as well. Also on display are a pair of golden boxing gloves and a framed picture of Rausser as a college student with fellow judges at an international dairy-cattle congress. Both are relics of his life before a more-than-four-decades-and-counting career at UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources. They’re part of an incredible journey, one that began amid humble roots on his family’s small dairy farm near Galt, California. A journey of determination, values, passion, and a vision for a brighter future.

Along the way, Rausser spent time teaching at some of the country’s most prestigious universities, and he has been a major influence on global economic policy. He was the chief economist at the State Department’s U.S. Agency for International Development in Washington, D.C., for two years. He’s an entrepreneur, a consultant, and an expert investor whose knowledge and instincts have enabled him to make a transformative contribution to the campus institution that will now proudly bear his name. Rausser’s gift of $50 million to the newly named Rausser College of Natural Resources will go far in helping his home institution further its mission of preparing the next generation of economic, environmental, agricultural, natural resources, and health leaders to tackle the most pressing issues of the 21st century.

To read the full story, visit Breakthroughs, the magazine of the Rausser College of Natural Resources.

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