California Life Sciences Association Adds New Senior Vice President Of Business Strategy And Development

Holly Smithson to lead CLSA’s business strategy, marketing, membership and development activities

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO – September 17, 2015 – The California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) today announced the appointment of Holly Smithson as Senior Vice President of Business Strategy and Development based in CLSA’s San Diego office. The addition marks the continuing growth of the nation’s largest statewide life sciences public policy advocacy and business solutions organization serving more than 750 life sciences organizations.

In her new role, Working with personnel in CLSA’s South San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento and Washington, D.C. offices, Smithson will act as an ambassador for CLSA to the life sciences community.

“Holly brings a unique blend of organizational leadership, business strategy and public affairs experience to CLSA,” said Sara Radcliffe, President & CEO of CLSA. “She is adept at identifying and developing effective growth strategies for dynamic organizations as well as delivering value to members. Her business acumen and expertise will enable her as a driving force in the development of CLSA and make her a great contributor to the management of the organization as a whole.”

Smithson joins CLSA from the Smithson Network, a San Diego-based business consultancy she founded to serve as a strategic advocate, planner and partner for non-profits and fast growing companies. Smithson previously served as president and COO of CleanTECH San Diego, one of the nation’s premier cleantech industry associations and market drivers. Smithson worked in public policy for more than a decade in Washington, D.C. in the executive and legislative branches, as well as non-government organizations. Smithson began her career in broadcast journalism as a news director and anchor for several television and all-talk radio stations. She is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Executive Leadership Program and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast communications from East Carolina University.

“I look forward to representing CLSA and contributing to the growth of California’s treasured life sciences sector,” said Smithson. "I am eager to help CLSA fulfill its mission of advancing California’s world-leading life sciences innovation ecosystem by advocating for effective national, state and local public policies and supporting entrepreneurs and life sciences businesses.”

About California Life Sciences Association (CLSA)

California Life Sciences Association (CLSA) is the leading voice for California’s life sciences sector. We work closely with industry, government, academia and other stakeholders to shape public policy, drive business solutions and grow California’s life sciences innovation ecosystem. CLSA serves over 750 biotechnology, pharmaceutical, medical device, and diagnostics companies, research universities and institutes, investors and service providers. CLSA was founded in 2015 when the Bay Area Bioscience Association (BayBio) and the California Healthcare Institute (CHI) merged to create the state’s most influential life sciences advocacy and business leadership organization. Visit CLSA at, and follow us on Twitter @CALifeSciences, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.

Will Zasadny
Manager, Communications for CLSA

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