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Director of Finance and Administration

Office of Public Affairs

Maria Eugenia Smith started working as a temp in the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1999 after moving from her native Venezuela. With an MBA and prior leadership experience, she felt there was a match with GSB. Five months later she had a permanent job there as the finance manager.

Throughout her time at Stanford, Maria Eugenia has found inspiration through brilliant colleagues from diverse backgrounds, including her current manager who worked in the White House under President George H.W. Bush. She cites the View from the Top speaker series as playing a big role in developing her own leadership style.

Now that she works in the Office of Public Affairs she says, “It’s fascinating to have the opportunity to see the president of the United States or the prime minister of Japan speaking just a few feet away from where you are.”

Maria Eugenia attributes her career development to the mid-year and annual performance reviews at Stanford. She finds them to be a great way to celebrate achievements, explore areas for growth, and allow employees to take on new challenges and promotions.

Maria Eugenia takes full advantage of the many perks and rewards of working at Stanford, such as the Staff Training Assistance Program (STAP) that provides money for training activities. She has taken everything from management and leadership training to Excel courses and says, "Stanford offers great opportunities to grow and invest in ourselves through training." 

She is grateful to have the Tuition Grant Program which will help pay the cost of her children’s undergraduate tuition when they go to college and being able to take a scenic bike ride to work every day. For her, participating in the Stanford Commute Club is enhanced by the fact that she is doing her part to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion.

“I feel I work in the best university. It’s like working in a country club given the beauty of this campus, the gym facilities and the diversity of the eateries, including Venezuelan coffee shops.”