Laura T. Starks is the Chairman of the Department of Finance, the Charles E. and Sarah M. Seay Regents Chair of Finance, and Director of the AIM Investment Center in the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. She has done extensive research on finance issues including research that focuses on corporate governance and institutional investors. Her publications have appeared in the leading academic journals and she has presented her research at universities all over the world. She has received a number of awards for her research including the 1996 Smith Breeden Distinguished Paper Award from the Journal of Finance, the 1997 Western Finance Association Best Paper in Corporate Finance Award, the 1998 Financial Management Association Best Paper in Corporate Finance Award, the 2002 and 2003 FMA European Meeting Best Paper Award and the 2003 Fama-DFA Second Prize from the Journal of Financial Economics. She was named a Fellow of the FMA in 2002.

She is an Editor of the Review of Financial Studies and has served as Associate Editor of a number of finance journals, including the Journal of Finance, Review of Financial Studies, and Financial Management. She has served on the Board of Directors of the three national academic finance organizations: the American Finance Association, the Western Finance Association, and the Financial Management Association. She is an independent director for the CREF Retirement Accounts and the TIAA-CREF Mutual Funds and serves on the Governing Council of the Independent Directors Council. She was previously an independent director for USAA Mutual Funds. She has served on the Investment Advisory Committee for the Employees Retirement System of the State of Texas since 1990 and is currently Chairman of the Committee.