Year Joined

  • 2017

Areas of Expertise

  • Public Service 

Michelle Lee Former Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property

Tech Executive

Public Company Board Member and Former Under Secretary of Commerce

The Honorable Michelle K. Lee is a public company board member, former chief executive officer, a Silicon Valley veteran experienced in scaling fast-growing companies with disruptive technologies, and one of the top intellectual property experts in the world.

Most recently, Ms. Lee served as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).  In this role, she was the chief executive officers of one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world with annual revenues of over $3 billion and 13,000 employees.  Ms. Lee was appointed by the President and served as his principal advisor on domestic and international intellectual property policy.  She is first woman to serve as Director of the USPTO in the country’s 220+ year history.

As Under Secretary of Commerce, Ms. Lee served as a lead representative of the U.S. government on international intellectual property engagements.  Through this work, she understands the challenges and opportunities U.S. companies face as they navigate the varied intellectual property and business landscapes in foreign markets, particularly in Asia and Europe.

Prior to public service, Ms. Lee served as Deputy General Counsel at Google.  She joined the company when it was relatively young, with domestic revenue only and a few products and services, and helped the company grow into a multi-national Fortune 500 corporation with a wide range of products and services.  Ms. Lee was responsible for formulating and implementing Google’s patent strategy for all its products and services worldwide.

Ms. Lee’s unique combination of experiences in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. make her a powerful leader and advisor to companies with cutting-edge technologies and business models, particularly those with a need to navigate complex legal and regulatory landscapes.  After her term in public service, from 2017-2018, Ms. Lee was appointed the Herman Phleger Visiting Professor at Law at Stanford Law School, where she taught on disruptive technologies and their impact on laws and regulations.  Ms. Lee also serves as a board of director for alarm.com (NASDAQ: ALRM) and Nauto, Inc.

Prior to Google, Ms. Lee served as a partner at the law firm Fenwick & West.  Ms. Lee has also worked as a computer scientist at Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories and the MIT Artificial Intelligence (AI) Laboratory.  She holds a B.S. and an M.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, where she wrote her graduate thesis on artificial intelligence at the MIT AI Lab.  She also holds a J.D. from Stanford Law School.

Ms. Lee is a frequent speaker on technology and innovation, and has been profiled in or a commentator for the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Bloomberg, C-SPAN, NPR, Los Angeles Times, Politico, the Brookings Institution, International Center for Strategic and International Studies, the Council of Foreign Relations and the Washington Post.

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