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
- August 31, 2010 at 9:58 AM EST
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 8:30 AM EST
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke explains how the Census became a model of fiscal responsibility.
- July 22, 2010 at 12:55 PM EST
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke kicks off a Clean Energy Economy Forum on clean energy manufacturing at the White House.
- May 3, 2010 at 10:07 AM EST
Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announces the i6 Challenge to help spur the industries and jobs of tomorrow by awarding the most innovative ideas to drive technology commercialization in regions across the country.
- March 25, 2010 at 4:35 PM EST
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke address the implications from some large businesses that health reform will increae their costs.
- January 5, 2010 at 10:06 AM EST
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke talks about the plan to get everybody possible to participate in the Census process.
- October 23, 2009 at 12:49 PM EST
Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke recaps some of the issues covered in the energy forum he held with Energy Secretary Steven Chu.