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News > Club News > WIB-Seattle News > WIB-Seattle Leadership Spotlight: Lindsay Klouser

WIB-Seattle Leadership Spotlight: Lindsay Klouser

Lindsay is the WIB-Seattle MAPS Chair



Lindsay Klouser
Researcher at Fred Hutch
WIB-Seattle MAPS Chair


Lindsay Klouser is a researcher at Fred Hutch. She has been a member of WIB-Seattle since 2020 and is currently the MAPS Chair. She’s had a winding path to get where she is today, but she thinks it all worked out for the best. “Just because you start off doing something, life is unpredictable sometimes, and it’s okay that you take a different path if something’s calling you,” she said. “You would be surprised at the kind of skills you can develop from experiencing different opportunities in your lifetime and career.”

Lindsay graduated from the pre-veterinary medicine program at Montana State University, originally intending to become a veterinarian. However, after she graduated and started working at a veterinary clinic, she realized that a career in veterinary medicine looked quite different than she initially imagined. “I had a moment where I thought, ‘What am I going to do with my life?’” she recalled.

A new opportunity soon opened up for Lindsay. She had been the recipient of a fellowship her junior year at Montana State, and the woman in charge of that fellowship reached out and asked Lindsay if she was interested in post-graduate work. Lindsay had the chance to get her PhD in a five-year program. “I had worked in a lab every year up through college and loved the work,” Lindsay said. “So I thought, ‘Yeah, that sounds awesome!’ It felt like a step that made sense, a step in the right direction.”

After three years in that program, though, Lindsay realized that her post-graduate career wasn’t going to be a good fit. She felt doubtful about her PhD ambitions and any future careers that a PhD might afford her. “I didn’t know what I was getting a PhD for anyway, because I didn’t want to teach,” she said. Lindsay chose to leave the program with a master’s equivalent. From there, she found herself working in hospitality management, planning and executing events.

Within a few years of working in hospitality, Lindsay felt herself being pulled back into her love of science. “I thought, ‘It’s time for me to get back into the field,’” she said. “I moved to Seattle to explore the biotech and research industry, especially immunology and infectious disease." Lindsay started her networking journey through a friend who knew someone who worked at Fred Hutch. She spent months chatting, meeting new people, and attending local WIB events to expand her opportunities.

At first, Lindsay feared that she may have hurt her chances to get a job related to science since she had been out of the field for so long. She didn’t know if she’d ever be able to integrate back into the life sciences and felt herself struggling in a new location with a limited network of people. “But in an interesting turn of events, it was through my hospitality job that I got my current job,” Lindsay said. She was recently promoted in October 2023 to a position with the University of Washington Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (UW DLMP) as a research scientist.

Lindsay also credits WIB for helping her to get to where she is today. “WIB has helped so much with my career transition, creating friendships, and finding peer mentorships. The reason I joined WIB was because I wanted to be in MAPS,” she said. When she was asked to become a MAPS leader, Lindsay jumped into the deep end. "Being a leader in MAPS forced me to harness my confidence, organizational skills, and conversational development around what can be sensitive topics,” Lindsay said. “It changed my perspective on what it means to be a peer mentor to someone. I learn a lot and get great feedback from my group for my own personal development.”

So, what advice does Lindsay have for women who are just starting their careers today? “Getting a PhD isn't necessarily a fate of teaching,” she said. “There are so many avenues you can take now, and I didn't realize that then.” Reflecting more on her academic and professional paths, Lindsay added, “Remain curious, give yourself a lot of compassion, and what you’re doing in this moment may or may not be what you’re doing in the future. Who we are and what we want can evolve over time.”

One of the biggest influences on Lindsay’s mindset to give herself grace throughout her journey is a quote from Simon Sinek’s Start With Why: “All organizations start with WHY, but only the great ones keep their WHY clear year after year. Great companies don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them. You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.” The idea of WHY has shaped Lindsay’s perspective when it comes to her own career. “This quote gave me the inspiration I needed at a time when I was feeling a lot of imposter syndrome and self-doubt. It helped me trust that my willingness to be a part of something greater would lead me to experience opportunities with people and organizations I can believe in,” she said. “My WHY leads me through making any decision, especially when my path becomes unclear at times. Living in integrity is quintessential to being a good leader. The only way to live in integrity is by following your values. Know what your values are so you can know your WHY.”

We are so grateful that Lindsay’s WHY and her values include volunteering with WIB-Seattle. We can’t thank her enough for the fantastic work she’s been doing as the MAPS Chair! Her adaptability, resilience, and creativity have benefited our chapter in more ways than we can count.

Submitted by Mariana Huben

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