Alumna Portrait
24 February 2020

A Woman of Influence

Kathy Surace-Smith is a legal executive with over 30 years of experience working in high-growth private and public companies, including 18 years in the life sciences industry. She studied at the Graduate Institute from 1983 to 1985.

Kathy began her career in private practice at the law firm of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. She then held legal positions with Metawave Communications in Redmond, Washington, Alcatel NV in Paris, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in London. 

Kathy is currently Vice-President and General Counsel of NanoString Technologies, Inc. in Seattle, Washington, a company that develops, manufactures and sells life sciences research tools and molecular diagnostics.

She also serves as the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Fred Hutch Cancer Center in Seattle, member of the Board of Trustees of Columbia University in New York and a member of the Board of Directors of the United Way of King County (Washington). 

At the United Way, Kathy served as Board Chair, Campaign Co-chair, Governance Committee Chair and has participated in fundraising for numerous programmes, including the Parent Child Home Program. She is also active in the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce as a Member of the Executive Committee of the Board and Co-chair of its Policy Leadership Group. 

Kathy was honoured by the Puget Sound Business Journal as a “Woman of Influence” in 2018.

She studied at the Graduate Institute from 1983 to 1985. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a Juris Doctor from Columbia Law School.


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