Announcing Pacifica’s Vice President of Policy and General Counsel- Bahara Stapelberg, JD, MBA

Dear Pacifica Community,

It is with great enthusiasm that I announce the arrival of our new Vice President of Policy and General Counsel, Bahara Stapelberg, JD, MBA, who will commence her role on Monday, December 11. In this capacity, Bahara will play a vital role in guiding policy development, fostering collaboration, and spearheading training initiatives across the Institute. Additionally, she will serve as a policy expert and spokesperson in legal and regulatory matters, contributing to our strategic vision for policy work on both state and federal levels.

As an officer and key member of the Executive Leadership Team, the VP of Policy and General Counsel will work closely with the President & CEO, the Board of Trustees, and various departments at Pacifica.

Bahara joins us from her role as the Executive Director of SurfAid, an international NGO based in Australia, and previously, as the In-House Counsel for Tikehau Resorts, LLC.

Her vocation began with marketing roles in the in the surf industry at Rusty Surfboards and Quiksilver after graduating from UCLA. Following this, she pursued and successfully completed her law degree at Chapman University of Law. She is a member of the California Bar.

Following a period dedicated to raising her three children, Bahara transitioned into corporate law in Orange County, California. However, her passion for community service has consistently been evident through various roles, including serving as a Board member at her children’s schools (Our Lady of Malibu, St. Margaret’s Episcopal School, and Choate Rosemary Hall), acting as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate), and contributing as a member of UCI’s Well-Being Circle Board.

Bahara recently served as the CEO of DEF, Darden’s investment fund, while earning her MBA at Darden Business School. Currently residing in Malibu, California, she brings her wealth of experience to Pacifica, enriching our community while cherishing life with her husband and three children.

I extend heartfelt gratitude to the Board Chair, staff, and faculty members who dedicated their time and commitment to the search and interview committee throughout the hiring process.

Please join me in extending a warm and soulful welcome to Bahara as becomes an integral part of our community.

Joyfully Serving,

Dr. Lee

President & CEO, Pacifica Graduate Institute