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Faustino Bernadett: Philanthropist and Lover of Language Learning

Updated: May 23, 2022

Dr. Faustino Bernadett has always wanted to give back. He has done just that throughout his career, giving his time, talents, and money to countless philanthropic endeavors. One of his proudest achievements was facilitating the lead gift to the Smithsonian Latino Center, which is dedicated to the preservation of Latino history and culture, engagement of Latino communities, and advancement of Latino representation in the United States.

Groundbreaking Initiative

Faustino Bernadett (M.D., M.B.A.) has worked hard with his wife and other family members to establish the Molina Family Gallery at the Smithsonian Latino Center. The gallery – the first of its kind in the country -- is slated to open in 2021, thanks to a $10 million gift from the Molina family whose name the gallery will bear. This ground-breaking addition will become a permanent gallery dedicated to the Latino experience, opening in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Dr. Faustino Bernadett Smithsonian

The space will celebrate the experiences and history of U.S. Latinos and feature 4,500 square feet of bilingual stories. Bilingual himself, Dr. Faustino “Tino” Bernadett combines his passion for learning and helping raise awareness through his contributions to the gallery. An alumnus of the University of California, San Francisco (U.C.S.F.) School of Medicine, Bernadett is the vice president of The Molina Foundation, and is a former board member of the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Generosity Rooted in Inspiration

The Latino Center is a cause very near and dear to Tino’s heart, and it started with inspiration from his father, who ran a successful practice as the only Spanish-speaking family doctor in Chico, California. Martha Bernadett’s father also volunteered his services to Mexico’s needy, and went on to found Molina Healthcare, Inc., a managed care company serving low-income patients. Today, Tino and his wife Martha, both MDs, continue the legacy with donations to U.C.S.F. designed to benefit underserved communities, as well as through donations to hundreds of charities.

Nurturing a New Generation

Faustino Bernadett enjoys working closely with the Smithsonian Latino Center as a former board member. The Latino Center works throughout the Smithsonian and alongside affiliated museums to promote understanding of U.S. Latino history and contributions to the humanities, arts, and sciences.

Throughout the Smithsonian Campaign, the Latino Center raised funds to ensure the success of the next generation of Latino leaders. Tino’s contribution and leadership were the driving force behind this initiative. In addition, the Ford Motor Company donated $1 million to support the Young Ambassadors Program, which helps Latino high school seniors build leadership skills, while Comcast N.B.C. Universal Telemundo provided funding for the Latino Center’s ¡Descubra! Meet the Science Expert family and youth-centered programs.

Looking Ahead

The following two years will bring times of significant change, excitement, advancement, and hope, as 2021 will mark the opening of the Molina Family Latino Gallery at the National American History Museum. It will enjoy the distinction of being the very first dedicated museum space on the National Mall celebrating the U.S. Latino experience.

Tino will be there every step of the way to make his dream become a reality. To learn more about Faustino Bernadett, the Molina Family Latino Gallery, and the many other philanthropic endeavors he is a part of, we welcome you to browse Faustino Bernadett’s website as well as the Smithsonian Campaign to stay up to date on the project’s progress.


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