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Commerce Names Former Microsoft Exec to Policy Shop

Commerce Department, Photo: Wikipedia

On the heels of the announcement that Barack Obama would nominate former energy executive John Bryson to head the Commerce Department comes news that former Microsoft executive and Clinton administration official Malcolm Lee would join Commerce’s policy shop.

In a news release yesterday, the department announced Lee would take the helm of the Office of Policy and Strategic Planning and would serve as counselor to the secretary, which in this case means new appointee Bryson — although the latter still has to be confirmed by the Senate.

In his new role, Lee will manage department-wide policy initiatives and strategic planning for job-creation efforts as well as business growth and “aggressive trade promotion,” the release states.

“Malcolm’s record and success in government and the private sector, along with his international experience, give him instant credibility and a deep understanding of the issues businesses face working to grow and create jobs,” said Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who will step down to become ambassador to China. “His leadership will be critical as we work to promote U.S. exports and help American businesses become more innovative at home and competitive abroad.”

Previously, Lee was general manager for policy, strategy and corporate affairs at Microsoft’s China operation, headquartered in Beijing. His efforts there included leading a policy, regulatory and community affairs team to help the company compete in China.

He also served in the Clinton administration, as a deputy in the secretary of state’s office, focusing on international communications and information policy, and as a special assistant to the president for international trade and economic policy at the National Economic Council in the 1990s.

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