Alumni Distinguished Leadership Award

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Acceptance Speech

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Clara Shih '00 is a trailblazer in many rights, combining her keen knowledge and entrepreneurship savvy to help influence, improve and innovate business technology applications nationwide. Among her many accomplishments since graduating from IMSA in 2000, Shih was named one of the Most Influential Women in Technology 2010 (The Entrepreneurs group) by Fast Company magazine and authored The Facebook Era: Tapping Online Social Networks to Build Better Products, Reach New Audiences, and Sell More Stuff which is now used as a textbook at the Harvard Business School. In addition, Clara just published her second edition of The Facebook Era. Shih is also the creator of Faceconnector (formerly Faceforce) the first business application on Facebook, and was the product line director for AppExchange, described by Forbes magazine as the "iTunes of business software" and one of the top innovations of 2007. She is now the founder of Hearsay Corporation, a social media marketing software company based in San Francisco and frequently delivers social media keynotes at global conferences across the world. Clara is a recipient of the prestigious Marshall Scholarship, awarded to people who are likely to become leaders in their field and to make a contribution to society. She credits her IMSA experience for helping her to receive the scholarship by providing unique learning opportunities for her at an early age, including a summer internship in physics at Fermi Accelerator Laboratory and research work in sensor technology at the University of Illinois-Chicago. She earned a B.S. degree in Computer Science and Economics from Stanford, an M.S. degree in Computer Science from Stanford, and an M.S. degree in Internet Studies from Oxford University.

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