Year Joined

  • 2017

Areas of Expertise

  • Public Service 

Michelle Lee Former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property

Former Director, United States Patent and Trademark Office

Former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property

The Honorable Michelle K. Lee spent most of her professional career advising some of the country’s most innovative companies on technical, legal, and business matters. As Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Ms. Lee was the chief executive of one of the largest intellectual property office in the world, with ~13,000 employees and an annual budget of over $3.2 billion. She also served as the principal advisor to the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on domestic and international intellectual property policy. Ms. Lee is the first woman and person of color to hold this position. Before public service, Ms. Lee was Deputy General Counsel at Google, a partner at Fenwick & West and a computer science researcher at the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

She earned her B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT, where she wrote her graduate thesis on artificial intelligence, and her J.D. from Stanford Law School, where she holds the appointment as the Herman Phelger Visiting Professor of Law. Ms. Lee teaches a class on disruptive echnologies (AI and driverless cars) and their impact on existing laws and regulations as well as intellectual property.


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