Commerce Secretary Gary Locke Reflects on His Personal Political Journey, Exhorts More Asian Americans to Take Up Public Service


Offers advice for future generation at Committee of 100 annual conference

(New York—May 12, 2011)—United States Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke today addressed the 20th Annual Conference of Committee of 100, an organization of leading Chinese Americans.

Reflecting upon his upbringing and life experience, Locke recounted the challenges he faced as a child growing up in an immigrant family in Seattle and what led him to pursue a lifetime of public service.  Locke praised the achievements of Chinese Americans, commended the work that the Committee of 100 has done to support the Chinese-American community, and urged Chinese Americans to be more active in politics and public service.

“Too many Chinese Americans continue to harbor the misguided belief that politics and government service is somehow less noble or useful,” Locke said. “America needs more talented and engaged Chinese-Americans taking part in the national dialogue – this is the next great frontier for Chinese-American advancement.”

Locke, America’s first Chinese-American governor, was appointed by President Obama as the 36th Secretary of Commerce and sworn into office on March 26, 2009.  At the Department of Commerce, Locke is charged with helping implement President Obama’s ambitious agenda to turn around the economy and put people back to work, including the National Export Initiative, which aims to double U.S. exports by 2015.  Locke has been one of the lead negotiators at the annual trade talks with China – the Joint Commission on Commerce and Trade – which has helped to level the playing field for U.S. businesses. Because of his efforts promoting U.S. exports and helping businesses sell more into the growing market, our exports to China were up 34 percent in 2010 compared to 2009.  He also led the administration’s first Cabinet-level trade mission – a clean energy mission to China and Indonesia in May 2010, while the Commerce Department last year led an unprecedented 35 trade missions overall.  On March 9, 2011, President Obama nominated Locke to be the next U.S. Ambassador to China.

Committee of 100 Chairman John S. Chen states: “As the first Chinese American to hold this post in a president’s cabinet, Locke has a distinctly American story. We are honored to provide this platform for Secretary Locke—a former C-100 member—to share his personal journey and his achievements, which have inspired many people to serve the country, and especially, resonate deeply with our members. ”

Under “Common Ground”, Committee of 100 hosts opinion leaders and shapers of policy to explore the evolving China and U.S. dynamic. Topics of discussion include: social and economic change within the two countries, challenges faced in developing sustainable cities, emergence of new markets in the U.S. and China and best practices for Asian talent management in global companies.

The 20th Annual Conference Co-Chairs are Clarence Kwan, Senior Partner, Chinese Services Group, Deloitte LLP; James M. Li, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs; and Lulu C. Wang, Chief Executive Officer, Tupelo Capital Management LLC.

The Committee of 100 is a leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, and the arts. For over 20 years, the Committee has served as a substantive bridge in the U.S.-China dialogue by fostering regular exchanges with the leadership of Beijing, Taipei, and Washington. Members of the Committee of 100 are leading U.S. citizens of Chinese descent who leverage their collective influence, resources and experiences to address important topics shaping U.S.-China relations as well as issues affecting the Chinese American community.



Ms. An Ping
(917) 670-5871


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Gary Locke

The first Chinese-American ambassador to China




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