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Malcolm R. Lee, Director of Office of Policy and Strategic Planning

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Portrait of Lee

Malcolm Lee is Counselor to the Secretary and Director of the Secretary’s Office of Policy and Strategic Planning at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Malcolm leads the Secretary’s team of senior policy advisers who counsel the Secretary on the full range of work of the Department and develop and drive administration strategy and priorities in the areas of manufacturing, innovation, exports, investment and technology policy.

Before joining the Obama administration in June 2011, Malcolm was Senior Director then General Manager for China Policy and Strategy for Microsoft in both Beijing (2006-2010) and in Redmond headquarters (2010-2011). His team was responsible for positioning the company to compete effectively in China.  He served as an elected governor of AmCham China and as a board member of USITO, a trade association representing the U.S. technology companies in China.

Malcolm was Senior Policy Counsel and Director of International Policy and Strategy in Microsoft’s U.S. headquarters (2003-2006), directing global trade and technology policy. Malcolm joined Microsoft in 2003 from Cisco Systems, where he was responsible for international trade policy and Asia government relations.  

Malcolm served in the White House and U.S. Department of State during the Clinton administration (1993-2001). He was Director, then Senior Director and Special Assistant to the President for International Trade and Economic Policy at the National Economic Council (1996-2000), jointly reporting to the National Security Council. Malcolm was responsible for trade and investment policy, and worked on the financial crisis and U.S.-Japan economic relations.  He was part of the negotiating team that concluded the U.S.-China bilateral WTO accession agreement in Beijing and that secured PNTR passage in Congress. He managed CFIUS national security investment reviews, economic sanctions, steel policy, import relief decisions by the president, and international agreements and negotiations. He staffed the president in meetings with heads of state, including during visits to China, Japan, Korea, and the APEC Leaders Meeting.

At the U.S. Department of State, Malcolm served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Coordinator for International Communications and Information Policy (2000-2001), leading an office that coordinated USG international engagement and  negotiations on technology, telecom, satellite, standards, Internet governance, and spectrum policy in bilateral and multilateral forums (ITU, OECD, WRC, APEC). He led the U.S. delegation that negotiated and secured Intelsat’s agreement to privatize with the United States as its licensing jurisdiction. He also served as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs (1993-1996), advising on economic, trade and export control policy and business outreach, as well as economic policy dialogues with India, Korea and Egypt.

Before joining the Clinton administration, Malcolm practiced law at Akin Gump, advising technology, telecom and financial services companies on multilateral and bilateral trade negotiations. Before law school, Malcolm worked as a legislative aide to U.S. Senator Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania.

Malcolm is a graduate of Episcopal Academy (cum laude), Yale College (B.A, cum laude), and University of Pennsylvania School of Law (J.D.).