The Herbert G. Klein Memorial LEADership Award is presented annually to a member of LEAD’s Impact class who has made significant leadership contributions to our community and has demonstrated the potential to effect further change upon graduation from the program.
2021 Herbert G. Klein Memorial Award
for Exemplary Leadership WINNER
Advocacy for youth and marginalized communities has been at the core of Rajah Gainey’s focus for nearly 20 years. Working in the nonprofit sector has helped to fuel his belief that all children and families should have access to education, support systems, and community. Rajah’s work on behalf of children, families, and communities impacted by the child welfare system is where his efforts began, bringing his lived experience as a former foster youth to improve polices, funding, and programs.
As Associate Director of Development in the Office of Housing Administration of San Diego State University, Rajah channels efforts to create transformational experiences for young people beginning their journey at SDSU. He spearheads philanthropic efforts to help bring historically disadvantaged students to live on campus. By reducing housing and food insecurities for low-income, first-generation, and EOP students, his work ensures that students maintain maximum focus to achieve their educational goals.
A native of San Diego and a graduate of California State University of San Marcos, Rajah has concentrated his energy to support the San Diego community and help it flourish and prosper. He understands what it takes to make an impact on underserved communities, and how to spread mission-focused awareness to ensure key stakeholders are compelled to support the causes that propel San Diego forward.
About Herbert G. Klein
Herbert G. Klein (1918-2009) was the retired Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of Copley Newspapers, and a national fellow of the American Enterprise Institute of Washington, D.C., a syndicated columnist and a public relations consultant. He enjoyed a unique career as a newspaperman, broadcast official, media consultant, a senior leader in the White House, and participated in five presidential campaigns. Published by Doubleday, his book Making It Perfectly Clear is acclaimed by critics for its hard-hitting definitive look at the love-hate relationship between the media and the presidents.
In California, Mr. Klein participated in numerous civic activities, ranging from Junior Chamber presidency in Alhambra to directorship in San Diego’s major community organizations. He served on the boards of directors of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Scripps Health Foundation, and the Foundation for the Children of the Californias.
Mr. Klein championed bringing major league sports to San Diego as a co-founder of San Diego’s Super Bowl Task Force and served on the boards of several athletic organizations, including the San Diego International Sports Council, San Diego National Sports Training Foundation, and the UC San Diego Athletic Board. In addition to board membership, he was past President and chairman of the Holiday Bowl year-end football game in San Diego. Mr. Klein was an honorary member of the Alhambra and San Diego Rotary clubs, a Kiwanis “fellow” and a Kiwanian in San Diego, and a member of San Diego’s University Club.