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Executive Director

Laura Smoliar

Dr. Laura Smoliar is the Executive Director of the Taiwan Science & Technology Hub at Stanford University. She brings over 23 years of scientific, management and venture capital experience from working cross-border between Silicon Valley and Asia.  In 2016 she created a hybrid venture capital fund called the Berkeley Catalyst Fund (BCF), with for-profit and non-profit elements that shares profits with the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Chemistry (Ranked #1 Globally by US News & World Report). At BCF, she oversaw a portfolio of 26 early-stage companies, curated from strong deal flow emerging from UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, the Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, and alumni.  

Laura has an A.B. Summa Cum Laude from Columbia College, Columbia University, and a Ph.D. under Nobel laureate Y.T. Lee at UC Berkeley, both in Chemistry. She was invited as a student to join Professor Lee in Taiwan to work at Academia Sinica in the Institute for Atomic and Molecular Sciences on the campus of the National Taiwan University. She was elected Fellow of the SPIE (in photonics and optics) in 2020 and was an advisor to the Haas Impact Fund at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. She currently serves on the Leadership Council of and the Morningside Science Leadership Council of Columbia University.