Joan Jacobs

Board of Directors

Joan Klein Jacobs was born in New York City and graduated from the Barnard School for Girls in New York City and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., in 1952. She was trained as a dietician and worked for the Groton Central Schools outside of Ithaca and at Boston Lying-in Hospital (now Brigham and Women’s Hospital), one of the nation’s first maternity hospitals.

In 1956, she moved to Boston, where she was extensively involved with the Boston Chapter of the League of Women Voters. She moved to La Jolla, California, in 1966 and has since played an integral part in shaping the community through her activism and perseverance.

As a leading member of the San Diego community, Joan has focused her energies on numerous community groups and committees. Among these were support organizations at the University of California-San Diego (UCSD). In 1970, Joan co-founded “Friends of the International Center,” a UCSD support group. She also was a founding partner of Gallery 8, which began at the International Center. From 1992 to 2000, she served on the UCSD Board of Overseers. In June 2000, Joan was elected to the Board of the UCSD Foundation, where she now serves as a member of the Nominating Committee and is Chairwoman of the Art Committee. She co-founded “Friends of the Stuart Collection,” a support group for the body of 14 world-class contemporary sculptures on the UCSD campus.

Joan has played a vital role in her contributions to the San Diego arts community. Since 1996, Joan has served on the Board of the La Jolla Playhouse and currently serves on the Building Advisory Committee for the “Joan and Irwin Jacobs Center” for the La Jolla Playhouse. She also served as chair of the Search Committee for a new artistic director and presently serves on the Nominating Committee. She has chaired several committees for the San Diego Symphony, including the inaugural gala event in 1994 and the “2001 New Year’s Eve Gala at Symphony Hall.” Joan founded and chaired the San Diego Symphony Gold Ribbon Patrons, a group of more than 150 women who contribute $150,000 annually to the Symphony. Currently, she is the Chairwoman of the Board of the San Diego Symphony Endowment Foundation, which was founded in 2003 manage endowment contributions to ensure the future of the Symphony.

Joan also sits on the Accession’s Committee of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. From the mid-1980s to 1997, Joan chaired the Contemporary Collectors group for the Museum. In 2001, she founded and now chairs the International Collectors – the museum’s highest support group. Joan is a member of the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture’s Public Art Committee, and she continues to support public art within the region, which includes serving on the Commission for Art for the Federal Courthouse in San Diego.

Joan is a dedicated member of a number of community boards and organizations as well, including the University Club, City National Bank, the President’s Advisory Council at San Diego Hospice, the San Diego Opera and the Globe Theatre. In August 2003 and 2004, Joan chaired the La Jolla Chamber Music Society’s “SummerFest Gala.” The 2004 Gala was the most successful in the history of the Society.

In July 1995, she was the recipient of the David K. Kroll Leadership Award for exemplary service, dedication and commitment to the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center of San Diego County. She was co-chair of the capital campaign for the renovation and expansion of the Jewish Community Center, where she raised $13.2 million. The building was completed in May 2000. Joan also is Vice President of the Executive Committee of the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego County. In December 2003, Joan was appointed to the California Council for the Humanities and will serve on this state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities until March 2007.

Joan’s many interests include traveling, collecting contemporary art and politics. She belongs to a book club and The Dow Divas Investment Club of the San Diego Opera. She is the mother of four sons – all of whom reside in San Diego with their wives – and she has 11 grandchildren. Joan is married to Irwin Mark Jacobs, chairman of the board and CEO of QUALCOMM Incorporated, pioneer and world leader of Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) digital wireless technology.