Marina Muñoz de Martínez is the director of development for the College of Public Health and Human Sciences at the OSU Foundation. Before she assumed her role in January 2019, she was a major gift officer for Reed College in Portland. Prior to moving to Oregon in 2015, she worked as a fundraiser in the arts and animal welfare in New Mexico. She earned her bachelor’s degree in recreation administration, and a certificate in nonprofit health and human services from San Francisco State University, and her master’s degree in public administration from the University of New Mexico.
What made you decide to get into this field? Is there one specific moment that inspired your career path?
“I knew when I was 19 years old that I wanted to dedicate my life to public service. I had seen the struggle of my mother, a professional bassoonist, as her favorite orchestra disbanded due to poor fiscal management by their board of trustees. She is a founding member of an all-women’s orchestra, which focused entirely on celebrating the music of female composers. Watching the impact on the community as a critical arts organization closed its doors, I solidified my passion for the nonprofit sector.”
What do you love about your field? What energizes you?
“I love the many ways that philanthropy and the nonprofit sector have come forward to address some of society’s most pressing issues. I love connecting passionate donors with initiatives and opportunities that make them feel incredible about their involvement. I am inspired currently by the many ways the philanthropy community is addressing the long-term effects of colonization in the public and financial sectors, and how we are looking at innovative ways to shift power to the communities most impacted by colonization.”
Why did you choose to work at Oregon State/CPHHS?
“I have fallen in love with Oregon over the four years I’ve lived here, and wanted to work for an organization that is dedicated to impacting and improving the lives of Oregonians.
“I am also a firm believer in lifting people up from generations of poverty and marginalization through access to education. OSU and the College of Public Health and Human Sciences are a perfect intersection of these beliefs.
“Additionally, as I’ve met faculty and staff in CPHHS, I am even more confident in my choice. I love spending my days with people who are passionate, brilliant and fun!”
What’s the best thing about working with the OSU Foundation?
“I’ve worked in nonprofit fundraising for the last 17 years, and the OSU Foundation is the largest development shop I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. It is really fun to have such a substantial team of talented fundraisers to work alongside. There is a strong sense of camaraderie and collaboration among the Foundation staff, which is both refreshing and energizing.”
What are you most proud of in your work so far?
“I lived in New Mexico for more than a decade, during which I had the pleasure of raising money for the state’s first fully bilingual exhibition at the New Mexico History Museum. El Hilo de la Memoria: The Threads of Memory brought together artifacts from the museum’s collection with those from the Archivo General de Indias, highlighting Spanish heritage in America and America’s quest for independence. It was incredibly moving to see school-aged children from an overwhelmingly diverse state come to the museum and see their language and heritage reflected in a major exhibition.”
How do you strive to affect people’s lives with your work?
“I am a firm believer in life being filled with joy, even when it’s challenging. Subsequently, I infuse that into my work and strive to help every donor see their involvement and investment as an act of joy, whether they realize it or not.”
What is one surprising thing about you that not many people know?
“I was born with three kidneys, and have one left. Subsequently, I don’t drink alcohol anymore and closely manage my caffeine intake. But I’m an avid foodie, so please do invite me to your favorite brewery, café or winery if the food is worth tasting!”
What are your favorite activities outside of work?
“I am an active jogger, swimmer and yoga practitioner. I am also an avid seamstress and am most known for the elegant bedazzled creations I’ve crafted for drag and burlesque performers. My spouse and I are also huge cinephiles, and we can be found at Portland’s historic Hollywood Theater weekly. We share our lives with our three rescued pets — a bossy cat named Schmalico the Calico and two pit bull dogs named Duni and Whiteboy.”
You can contact Marina via email or phone at 503-273-4414.