Dr. David K. Lam 2013

David K. Lam is best known as the Silicon Valley entrepreneur who founded Lam Research, today a multi-billion dollar enterprise. As CEO, he guided the launch of Lam’s first plasma etcher for semiconductor manufacturing as it gained a foothold in Japan. Born in China, he became the first Asian-American to take the company public on the NASDAQ Market in 1984.

Dr. Lam mentors high-tech ventures as a board member and through the David Lam Group, which he formed in 1995 to provide growth management advice. He currently serves as chairman of Multibeam Corporation, a developer of multi-column electron-beam systems for lithography and inspection in microchip production.

Dr. Lam has regularly participated in community, educational and governmental organizations. In the 1990s, he took part in Joint Venture Silicon Valley, leading an initiative helping small businesses enter global markets. As president/chairman of AAMA, he transformed the small Asian-American technology association into a multinational network of entrepreneurs and professionals. In 1989, President Bush (41) appointed him to the Minority Business Development Commission. Ron Brown, the late Commerce Secretary under President Clinton, selected him in 1994 to serve on the Presidential Business Development Mission to China.

Dr. Lam earned his Sc.D. doctoral degree in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1973 after switching from the field of controlled nuclear fusion. Before entering MIT, he completed undergraduate studies in Engineering Physics at the University of Toronto. Prior to founding Lam Research, he worked on research and engineering in plasma etching at Texas Instruments and Hewlett-Packard.