Mark Schlesinger is a private investor and the managing trustee of Gaia Fund, a private charitable foundation that he co-founded with his wife, Christine Russell, in 1994. Gaia Fund supports environmental initiatives, as well as programs serving the Jewish community of San Francisco. He has served on various nonprofit boards since 1988, including those of the San Francisco Zoo, the Association of Small Foundations, the Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, and Congregation Emanu-El of San Francisco, where he is the current board president. He is a former Wexner Heritage Foundation fellow, and a member of the Sierra Club Foundation National Advisory Board. Originally from the Washington, DC, area, he holds a BA from Vassar College, and an MBA from Columbia University. In a former life, he was a vice president at Dancer-Fitzgerald-Sample, a large New York advertising agency. Since 1991, he has lived in the Cow Hollow section of San Francisco with his wife and two sons.