Michelle K. Lee

U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC

Director Lee has spent most of her professional career advising some of the country’s most innovative companies on technical, legal, and business matters. She currently brings that expertise as she leads America’s innovation agency. As Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, Director Lee is the chief executive of one of the largest intellectual property office in the world and serves as the principal advisor to the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on domestic and international intellectual property policy matters. Her mission at the USPTO is to promote American innovation through intellectual property. Director Lee is the first woman to serve as Director of the USPTO. Prior to her position in public service, Director Lee was Deputy General Counsel for Google. She joined the company when it was relatively young and was responsible for formulating and implementing its worldwide patent strategy in support of the company’s business priorities to guide Google through the industry-wide smartphone patent wars. Director Lee also served as a partner at the Silicon Valley-based law firm of Fenwick & West LLP, specializing in advising a wide range of high-technology clients. Prior to her career as a legal advisor to technology companies, Director Lee worked as a computer scientist at Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories, as well as at the M.I.T. Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She holds a B.S. and an M.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from M.I.T., and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Director Lee has been recognized by numerous organizations including the San Francisco Business Times and San Jose Business Journal as one of the top 100 most influential women in the Silicon Valley in 2013, Washingtonian Magazine as a “Tech Titan” in 2015, and Politico Magazine as one of the “Top 50 Most Influential Visionaries in American Public Policy” in 2015.