Cathie Wood was born on November 26, 1955, in Los Angeles, her father served in the British army and the united states air force as a radar system engineer. In 1981 she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern California, with a bachelor of science degree in finance and economics. One of her professors was economist Arthur Laffer, who became Wood's mentor. 


In 1977 she got a job as an assistant economist at Capital group, via her mentor Arthur Laffer. Where she worked for three years. Then she moved to New York City to take a job at Jennison Associates as chief economist, analyst, portfolio manager, and managing director. She worked there for 18 years. 


In 1998, she along with Lulu C. Wang co-founded Tuelo capital management, a hedge fund based in New York City. She began her career at AllianceBernstein in 2001 as the chief investment officer of global theme strategies, a position she held for 12 years.  After her idea for actively managing exchange-traded funds based on disruptive innovation was deemed too risky by alliance Bernstein, she left the company and founded Ark of the covenant. ARK’s first 4 ETFs were seeded with capital from Bill Hwang of Archegos Capital. 


She was chosen for the inaugural Forbes 50 Over 50 list in 2021, which includes entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, and innovators over the age of 50.