Trustee; Past President (1979-1981)
Geraldine Kunstadter is the chairman and president of the Albert Kunstadter Family Foundation, a private foundation actively engaged in both domestic and international projects and programs. She brings to the Foundation a background in languages, international affairs, and many years of public service. Her interests are global. In her work with the Foundation, she has spearheaded the funding of programs in Central America, southern Africa, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Lao People's Democratic Republic. Until his death in 2003, she and her husband, John Kunstadter, worked together on the Foundation, which his grandfather established in 1952.
In 1969, Mrs. Kunstadter joined the New York City Commission for the United Nations and Consular Corps, the Mayor's liaison office between the City of New York and the UN and Consular Corps communities. She originally joined as an outreach volunteer, welcoming newly arrived diplomats from all missions to New York on behalf of the Mayor and the Commission. From 1970 to 1986, she was director of the Commission’s Host Family Program, working with more than 800 American and international families. During those years, she organized six annual Commission receptions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to celebrate New York’s entire diplomatic community. Supported by corporate sponsors, these receptions drew approximately 2000 UN, Consular Corps, and New York City representatives. After 1986, Mrs. Kunstadter continued as an outreach volunteer until that program was cancelled in 2013.
Mrs. Kunstadter began to travel and work in China in 1981, and from 1983 to 2003, she worked with the Architectural Society of China, assembling for them a library of books on architecture and design. During that time, she also assembled libraries for the Beijing Academy of Social Sciences and the Beijing No. 8 Middle School. The Foundation also supported the Architectural Society of China. Since the 1990s, the Foundation also has supported projects and programs in southeast Asia. In 2003, she received the first President's Medal for Distinguished Service from the Architectural Society of China. She continues to meet with organizations throughout Asia that have received Foundation support, and travels there three times each year.
Mrs. Kunstadter serves on the boards of the Institute of World Affairs, Bridge to Asia, Open Seas Adoption Services, the National Institute of Social Sciences, and the Atlantic Council of the United States. She served for 18 years on the boards of the Yale-China Association and the National Committee on United States-China Relations. She served on the Windham College board for 13 years and in 1970 received the college’s Award for Distinguished Service. In 2015, Mrs. Kunstadter received the Humanitarian Award from the Hospitality Committee for United Nations Delegations.
In 1981, Mrs. Kunstadter was awarded the Silver Medal by the National Institute of Social Sciences at the end of her term as the organization’s president. In November 2018, she will receive the National Institute of Social Sciences’ Gold Honor Medal for Distinguished Service to Humanity.
Raised in Marlborough, Mass., Mrs. Kunstadter studied electrical and general engineering at MIT in the 1940s. She has studied in London, Paris and Florence, and speaks French, Italian and basic Mandarin. She is a member of the Lansdowne and Hurlingham Clubs in London, where she and her family had a home from 1964 to 1994, and is a member of the Cosmopolitan and University Clubs in New York. She has four children and eight grandchildren.