A Rundown of Len Shustek's Philanthropy

Leonard Shustek is cofounder of Nestar Systems, an early developer of networks for personal computers, and Network General, a manufacturer of network analysis tools. He's also been heavily involved with the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California, where he's chaired the board of trustees since 1996. Shustek's wife, Donna Dubinsky, has also enjoyed an illustrious career in tech, including serving as CEO of Palm Inc., the personal digital assistant (PDA) pioneer.

This tech-minded power couple has amassed quite a bit of wealth over the years, and though it's unclear exactly how much they're worth, they have channeled some of their assets into philanthropy. Unfortunately, Shustek and Donna's charitable contributions are somewhat hard to track, as some of their gifts have been made independently of any charitable vehicles. Other gifts, meanwhile, have moved through the "Shustek Dubinsky Family Philanthropic Fund," which doesn't appear to have any tax records available to the public. Perhaps the couple has set up a donor-advised fund somewhere.

Donna Dubinsky did give a talk at her alma mater Yale about philanthropy, in which she provided some insights into the couple's approach to giving. She mentions that they're interested in "arts, education, addressing poverty," as well as Jewish issues.

In arts and culture, unsurprisingly, the've supported the Computer History Museum, which is dedicated to the preservation and celebration of computer history and is home to the "largest international collection of computing artifacts in the world, encompassing computer hardware, software, documentation, ephemera, photographs, oral histories, and moving images." Len and Donna have given at least $10 million to the museum's capital campaign. The couple has also funded outfits such as The Exploratorium, San Francisco Jewish Film Festival, TheatreWorks and San Jose Museum of Art.

Len's alma mater, Polytechnic Institute of New York University, is home to the Leonard J. Shustek Distinguished Professor of Computer Science Chair, established with a $2.5 million endowment gift last decade. The couple has supported the Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara Law and have given money to Donna's alma mater, Yale University. They've also funded the Internet Archive, a nonprofit free library of millions of books, movies, software, music and other content, which was established under the principle of "universal access to knowledge."

Another area of interest is the environment, and they've given money to outfits such as Peninsula Open Space Trust, and the Committee for Green Foothills, whose mission is to "protect the open spaces, farmlands, and natural resources of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties through advocacy, education, and grassroots action."

A component of the couple's philanthropy involves health, and recent grantees include Breast Cancer Action, and That Man May See, which aims to "accelerate scientific discoveries for the preservation of sight." They've also funded the Second Opinion, whose mission is to "provide free, comprehensive second opinions to adults in California diagnosed with cancer." The couple also supports Jewish outfits, including the Jewish Community Federation.

Related: Leonard J. Shustek