Gary Locke 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 was charged with helping implement President Obama's ambitious agenda to turn around the economy and put people back to work.
As the first Chinese-American to hold this post in a president's cabinet, Locke has a distinctly American story. His grandfather emigrated from China to Washington state, initially finding employment as a servant, working in exchange for English lessons. Locke's father, also born in China, was a small business owner, operating a grocery store where Locke worked while receiving his education from Seattle's public school system. His strong work ethic and determination eventually took him to the highest office in the state of Washington.
Prior to his appointment, Locke helped U.S. companies break into international markets as a partner in the Seattle office of the international law firm, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. There, he co-chaired the firm's China practice and was active in its governmental relations practice.
As the popular two-term governor of Washington, the nation’s most trade-dependent state, Locke broke down trade barriers around the world to advance American products. He helped open doors for Washington State businesses by leading 10 productive trade missions to Asia, Mexico and Europe, significantly expanding the sale of Washington products and services. He also successfully strengthened economic ties between China and Washington State. His visits are credited with introducing Washington companies to China and helping more than double the state's exports to China to over $5 billion per year.
As part of his considerable trade and economic development efforts, Locke launched Washington’s Competitiveness Council with business, labor and civic leaders working together to effectively position Washington State for success at home and around the world. During the eight years of the Locke Administration, the state gained 280,000 jobs.
Locke earned a bachelor's degree in political science from Yale University and a law degree from Boston University. He is married to Mona Lee Locke. They have three children: Emily, Dylan and Madeline.
Secretary Gary Locke's Posts
- June 15, 2011 at 10:30 AM EDT
The Department of Commerce announces a new initiative – SelectUSA – the first-ever government-wide program to aggressively pursue and win new business investment in the United States by both domestic and foreign companies.
- April 8, 2011 at 10:55 AM EDT
The administration is having a conversation with businesses through roundtables held in 100 communities in all 50 states to get ideas on generating growth, creating new American jobs and increasing U.S. economic competitiveness.
- January 28, 2011 at 4:30 PM EDT
Secretary Gary Locke discusses ways the Department of Commerce is supporting entrepreneurs all across America who are developing clean energy and energy-efficient technologies like installing wind turbines and solar panels, developing improved batteries for hybrid cars and putting the pieces of the next generation electricity grid together.
- December 14, 2010 at 3:13 PM EDT
Secretary Locke discusses how the Obama Administration is working to promote innovation and competitiveness in high-growth sectors like renewable energy and energy efficiency (RE&EE).
- December 13, 2010 at 6:52 PM EDT
Read the third in a series of posts from top Administration Officials on the importance of the DREAM Act, this one from Commerce Secretary Gary Locke.
- November 16, 2010 at 11:24 AM EDT
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke outlines ways the Commerce Department and the Obama Administration are helping entrepreneurs turn ideas and inventions into new products and businesses.
- September 9, 2010 at 8:30 AM EDT
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke looks at the President's proposal to allow companies to fully deduct qualified capital investments through the end of 2011, and represents the largest temporary investment incentive in American history.
- August 31, 2010 at 10:58 AM EDT
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke explains how the Affordable Care Act’s Early Retiree Reinsurance Program will make it a little easier for employers to provide high-quality health benefits to their retirees.
- August 10, 2010 at 9:30 AM EDT
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke explains how the Census became a model of fiscal responsibility.
- July 22, 2010 at 1:55 PM EDT
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke kicks off a Clean Energy Economy Forum on clean energy manufacturing at the White House.
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