- Existence: 1949 January 13
Diane (Dee) Mosbacher, MD, PhD, was born in Houston, Texas on January 13, 1949 to businessman Robert Adam Mosbacher, Sr. (1927-2010) and Jane Pennybacker (1926-1970). She has three siblings, Robert Mosbacher, Jr. (1951-), Kathryn Mosbacher (1953), and Lisa Mosbacher Mears (1956-). Dee’s wife is Nanette Gartrell, M.D., formerly a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the University of California, San Francisco, and, since 2009, a Visiting Distinguished Scholar at the Williams Institute, University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law. Gartrell is the principal investigator of the U. S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study (NLLFS), the largest, longest-running prospective investigation of lesbian mothers and their children in the United States. The two have been together since 1975 and married in 2004 (annulled by the State of California) and 2005.
Dee Mosbacher received her primary and secondary education at Kinkaid School from which she graduated in 1967. Dee graduated from Pitzer College with a B.A. in psychology in 1972. She received a doctorate in social psychology from Union Graduate School in 1979 and a medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in 1983. Dee was a medical intern at Cambridge Hospital through Harvard Medical School from 1983-1984 and was a psychiatry resident in the same hospital from 1984-1987.
Dr. Mosbacher became a women's health activist in college and began directing documentary films as a student at Baylor College and as a resident at Harvard Medical School. Her films focused on discrimination against lesbian and gay physicians and patients, and she wrote many articles about gay and lesbian patients for the academic and medical community.
Dr. Mosbacher's father, Robert A. Mosbacher, Sr., was a Texas oil and gas producer, who served as a chief fundraiser for five Republican presidential campaigns. Robert, Sr. served as Commerce Secretary under President George H. W. Bush but left his post in 1992 to raise funds for Bush’s reelection campaign. The Republican Party intensified their anti-gay, anti-abortion rhetoric during this time period, which was a point of contention for Robert, Sr. and his daughter Dee, who spoke out against the Republican Party's use of homophobia as a fundraising tool in the 1992 election.
In 1992, Dr. Mosbacher founded the non-profit production company, Woman Vision, to counteract the misleading media campaign on LGBT issues conducted by the Republican Party and which was the focus of the 1992 Republican National Convention. As a psychiatrist, Mosbacher understood the psychological and psychosocial suffering caused by homophobia and created Woman Vision to promote equal treatment of all people through the production and use of educational media. Woman Vision promotes positive role models and supportive images of societally marginalized people. It uses diversity trainings, lectures, and other educational outreach programs to encourage people to abandon their homophobia and to improve the lives of LGBT individuals. Dr. Mosbacher has directed and produced nine documentaries, which have received a total of forty-six awards nationally and internationally, including a 1994 Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Short Film for Straight From the Heart. This film was screened at a bipartisan event for Congress in 1995.
Dr. Mosbacher has been a recipient of numerous awards, including the 1992 National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Creating Change Award for "courage and honesty in challenging the Republican Party's tactics;" the 1993 NOW Women of Power Award; the 1997 Lambda Liberty Award; the 2002 Pitzer College award "for unwavering support of our goal of educating students to social responsibility and for being a model in her own life of that goal;" the 2009 Barbara Gittings Award; the 2014 John E. Fryer Award from the American Psychiatric Association for "contributing to the mental health of sexual minorities;" and, as a co-recipient with Dr. Nanette Gartrell, the 2014 Legal Aid Society Mathew O. Tobriner Public Service Award.
Dr. Mosbacher was the first Pitzer College graduate to deliver a commencement address at her alma mater (1991). In 2010, she established the Mosbacher/Gartrell Center for Media Experimentation & Activism at Pitzer College.
Dr. Dee Mosbacher and Dr. Nanette Gartrell live and work in San Francisco.