• Dr. John A. De Luca (65-66) 2012 John W. Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award

    The White House Fellows Foundation and Association
    2012 John W. Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award
    Dr. John A. De Luca
    White House Fellow 1965-66

    John W. Gardner challenged all White House Fellows to commit to a lifetime of public service after their Fellowship year, to return to their communities and to become agents of change and renewal while also working to strengthen the White House Fellows Program. For forty-seven years, Dr. John A. DeLuca, a 1965-66 Fellow, has met and exceeded that high standard through an extraordinary career of selfless service to our nation and the world community in the highest traditions of the White House Fellows Program.

    Leadership, Achievements and Dedication to Public Service: John’s public service began well before his selection as a member of the first class of White House Fellows. Following his B.A. in political science (UCLA), he held a Ford Foundation Grant at Harvard, where he received Masters in Soviet Studies, and a Fullbright Fellowship at the University of Rome. In 1959, he was present in the “Kitchen Debate” between Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev. In 1961, he spent a year with the USIA’s Cultural Exchange Program in the Ukraine, Soviet Georgia, and Stalingrad-Volgograd. He then was a member of the faculty of San Francisco State University, where he taught undergraduate and graduate courses in American foreign policy and international relations. As a White House Fellow on the National Security Council Staff, John served on various coordinating committees related to the Viet Nam War and Southeast Asia, setting the bar for performance for future Fellows both at the White House and in the State Department.

    Following his Fellowship year, he served first as an international affairs advisor to Senator Frank Church and then as a Senior Policy Analyst at Stanford Research Institute. He received his Ph.D. in International Relations from UCLA in 1967. In 1968, in an extraordinary leap from congressional experience to local public service, John was chosen bySan Francisco Mayor Joseph Alieto to be Deputy Mayor of San Francisco, where he was responsible for the day-to-
    day operations of the city, winning praise from civic leaders and all of those who were served by City Hall. He served for eight years and his personal skills at diplomacy were test multiple times during the “Zodiac” and “Zebra” killings, 30 labor strikes involving police and firefighters, and demonstrations following the assassinations of Dr. Martin Luther King and Senator Robert Kennedy. John was deeply involved in establishing a lasting foundation for financial and cultural leadership in San Francisco – the Embarcadero Center, Transamerica building, Bank of America building and the Performing Arts Center.

    John’s record of leadership as Deputy Mayor was such that it led to his recruitment as President of the Wine Institute,which had representation in every state in the union. For nearly 30 years as President, CEO, and Executive Vice Chairman, he directed U.S. and international policy objectives for California’s wineries and winegrowers. In 2005, he assumed the post of Chairman of the Board of the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center and President of the Gallo Center, which is strongly acknowledged for its innovative discoveries of molecular, cellular, and neuronal mechanisms that underlie alcoholism, substance abuse and their co-morbidities. John is currently Chairman and President of the Center’s Institute for Molecular Neuroscience and is working with the U.S. Army’s Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center to address mental health and addiction issues affecting military personnel and veterans and develop new medications and protocols for the treatment of substance use disorders in the context of combat-related injuries and post-traumatic stress. He serves as Senior Advisor to the President of the University of California for Business and Agriculture and is a member of the Board of Advisors at the Goldman School of Public Policy and the Council of Friends of the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, a Board Member of the Institute for Teaching established by the 325,000 member California Teachers Association, and most recently a member of the newly created UC Davis Board of Advisors. He remains a Founding Member of the Advisory Board of the Shorenstein Center, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. He has received numerous awards and recognitions from both the wine industry and civic organizations for his leadership and accomplishments.

    Support of the White House Fellows Program: From the first days of his Fellowship year, John and his wife, Josephine, have extended hospitality to virtually every class of White House Fellows. He has hosted numerous receptions, dinners, seminars, field trips, wine tastings and visits to the McMurray Ranch and Mondavi and Gallo wineries for groups of Fellows in California, arranged for distinguished speakers, provided the wine for Legacy of Leadership Dinners, all while giving enthusiastically of his time, financial resources and contacts to support both the White House Fellows Program and individual Fellows. John has served as a regional panelist and for the last several years as co-chair and host of the San Francisco Regional Panel and has been a forceful and successful advocate of the Program with various administrations.

    John A. De Luca has dedicated his life to the higher calling of a lifetime of public service and giving back to his community. The White House Fellows Foundation and Association is proud to salute him as its 2012 John W. Gardner Legacy of Leadership Award honoree.

    posted: March 31, 2012
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