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Benefactors

Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai

Joe Tsai and Clara Wu Tsai

Clara Wu Tsai and Joe Tsai

Stanford alumna Clara and her husband, Joe, have a longstanding interest in the life sciences. Clara was a member of the presidential task force that helped shape the Stanford Neurosciences Institute and Stanford ChEM-H and (Chemistry, Engineering & Medicine for Human Health). She also served on the advisory council for Stanford Bio-X, an interdisciplinary platform launched in 1998 that has become a model for biosciences programs worldwide. Clara serves as co-chair of the advisory cabinet for the Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute and is an active member of the advisory council for the interdisciplinary life sciences institutes at Stanford. She also serves on the university’s Global Advisory Council.

“Our hope is that the institute will be able to drive discoveries about the brain, translate them into effective therapies and serve our global society.”

- Clara Wu Tsai

As a Stanford student, Clara earned a bachelor’s in international relations and a master’s in international policy studies. She received an MBA at Harvard and then pursued a successful career in business and finance as an executive at American Express and at Taobao, China’s largest online shopping site. Beyond Stanford, Clara is an advisory member for the Institute of Protein Design at the University of Washington. She sits on the international council of advisors of the National Geographic Society and was executive producer of “Into the Okavango,” a documentary by National Geographic about Botswana’s Okavango Delta that premiered at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Clara is also a trustee of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York City.

Joe Tsai is executive vice chairman and one of the founders of Alibaba Group, a global Internet technology company based in China. Alibaba has businesses in digital commerce, entertainment, cloud computing, logistics and financial technology. Joe is responsible for the company’s strategic acquisitions and investments. He attended Yale University, earning a bachelor's in economics and East Asian Studies in 1986 and a law degree in 1990.

Together, Joe and Clara pursue philanthropic investments that advance knowledge, innovation, equality of opportunity, and creativity in the arts. Their work with global partners focuses on the translation of new knowledge into practical applications with human or social impact. 

The couple have three children and live in La Jolla, California, and Hong Kong.