Malin Burnham

Malin Burnham

Malin Burnham

Honorary Trustee
Former Chairman, The Burnham Companies

Malin Burnham's Bio

Malin Burnham is an honorary trustee of Sanford Burnham Prebys Board of Trustees and has served on the board since 1982.

A native San Diegan, Burnham joined his father’s real estate brokerage firm (employee #14) in 1949 and purchased the business in 1961. The company grew to more than 350 employees and included membership on both the New York and American stock exchanges.  In 2008, Burnham Real Estate was acquired by the global real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield. Burnham continued as vice chairman and chairman emeritus at Cushman & Wakefield until 2022.

Over his career, Burnham has been an active board member of 16 companies and played a role in the founding of three publicly traded companies.

Burnham has enjoyed a long, parallel career as a civic leader and philanthropist. In 1996, the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation was renamed The Burnham Institute after he and an anonymous donor contributed $10 million. It was renamed the Burnham Institute for Medical Research in 2006.

Burnham has played key roles in the development and expansion of numerous San Diego-based, non-profit enterprises, including the U.S.S. Midway Museum, Sanford Consortium for Stem Cell Research, the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate and most recently, the creation of the Burnham Center for Community Advancement, “think-and-do tank” designed to help advance the San Diego region.

He has also made multiple contributions to local universities, including California State University San Marcos, the University of San Diego, San Diego State University and University of California San Diego to support their education, research and community engagement missions.

He was named “Mr. San Diego” in 1998 and “Philanthropist of the Year” in 2000.

Burnham is recognized as a world-class sailor. At 17, he became the youngest skipper to win a World Championship in the International Star Class. He has won nine International Championships and played a leading role in bringing the America’s Cup back to San Diego from Perth, Australia in 1987. In 1988 and 1992 he chaired San Diego Yacht Club's successful defenses of the America's Cup. San Diego hosted the America's Cup in 1988, 1992 and 1995.

Burnham has a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial engineering from Stanford University and served on its board of trustees for 10 years.

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