That Man May See Leadership Transition

April 26, 2020

Kathleen Rydar

After serving as President of That Man May See for the past 16 years, Kathleen Rydar is retiring, effective April 30, and passing the torch on to Deborah Chesky.

Kathleen’s passion and from-the-heart altruism has been felt throughout the Bay Area and beyond. In 2005, she was presented with the Hank Rosso Outstanding Fundraising Professional award by the Bay Area Association for Fundraising Professionals. During the span of her tenure, Kathleen has brought in well over $200 million to support the mission of the Department of Ophthalmology and Francis I. Proctor Foundation at UCSF. 

Through the Future of Vision campaign, Kathleen ensured that UCSF Ophthalmology would succeed in supporting the new Wayne and Gladys Valley Center for Vision at Mission Bay, a state-of-the art facility that will form the hub of one of the most diverse and productive vision research programs in the world, one of the most successful and innovative teaching programs, and one of the premier clinical care programs in the nation. 

Kathleen’s parting gift has been her central role in the recruitment of Deborah, a truly worthy successor as President of That Man May See. With a strong professional history in both health care and philanthropic development in research universities, Deborah started her career as a social work director at Albany Memorial Hospital and then Bellevue Woman’s Hospital in Niskayuna, New York. 

Deborah Chesky headshot 5.26.20

Deborah Chesky

She transitioned to Vice President of Marketing and Corporate Development at Bellevue. Deborah moved from philanthropy in health care to research, health, and higher education, ultimately serving as the Senior Advancement Officer for Foundation Relations at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

Deborah has had an extremely successful tenure at Rensselaer, with productive relationships among many in the sphere of UCSF Ophthalmology—the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, to name but a few. Deborah is personally committed to issues of health and vision, and the faculty is delighted that she has chosen to bring her skill set to ophthalmology and vision at UCSF, to lead That Man May See’s fulfillment of its mission to save and restore sight in actionable ways.

That Man May See will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2021. Through Deborah’s passion and commitment, she will continue in its vision to advance the work of a world-class faculty of clinician researchers and basic scientists by engaging the philanthropic community to support research, patient care, and training the next generation of leaders in ophthalmology.