April Boyd was nominated by President Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs of the U.S. Department of Commerce and was confirmed by the United States Senate on April 29, 2009, the 100th day of the Obama Administration. In this capacity, Boyd serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of Commerce on all matters before Congress, as well as the Department’s outreach to the nation’s governors and mayors. She manages these efforts and the Department’s relationships with its 19 congressional committees of jurisdiction across the Department’s 12 bureaus.
Assistant Secretary Boyd also serves on the Secretary of Commerce’s Executive Management Team and helps develop the Commerce Department’s annual budgets and programs for all 12 of the Department’s bureaus. Boyd also plays key roles in the Administration’s initiatives to reform the current export control regime, double U.S. exports, and implement pending trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.
As Assistant Secretary, Boyd led the Obama Administration’s work with Congress to reform outdated patent laws. The America Invents Act, signed into law in September 2011, is the largest reform to the patent system since 1836 and the first major changes in more than 60 years. The new law will speed the current average three-year wait for a patent, offer a one year fast-track option, reduce the current patent backlog, reduce costly litigation, increase patent quality, and improve the ability of American inventors to protect their intellectual property abroad.
Prior to joining the Department of Commerce, Boyd spent eight years working as a senior staff member in both the House of Representatives and Senate, including more than two years as Chief of Staff to Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher and two years as National Press Secretary to Senator John Kerry.
As Congresswoman Tauscher’s Chief of Staff, Boyd served as the top strategic advisor to the Chair of the House New Democrat Coalition, the largest bloc of moderates in Congress. The 68-Member group is focused on enacting legislation that strengthens U.S. competitiveness, meets the challenges posed by globalization in the 21st century, and bolsters America’s standing in the world.
During Boyd’s tenure, the group was actively involved in passing legislation to promote “green tech” jobs, simplify and extend the research and development tax credit, and implement healthcare information technology to reduce costs and provide savings for patients and businesses. The New Dems also played a lead role in the bipartisan new trade policy for America announced in May 2007, which includes enforceable core labor and environmental standards.
Before coming to Capitol Hill, Boyd served for three years in the Executive Branch, including the U.S. Department of Energy and the General Services Administration. At the Energy Department, Boyd had primary communications responsibility for the administration’s landmark proposal to compensate sick nuclear workers – the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act – which was signed into law by President Clinton in 2000. This legislation became only the fourth federal workers’ compensation program in history. For her work at the Department of Energy, Boyd received the Secretary of Energy’s Award of Excellence. While at the General Services Administration, Boyd worked for President Clinton’s Commission on the Celebration of Women in American History.
Boyd is a native of Iowa who graduated magna cum laude from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. She lives on Capitol Hill with her husband and daughter.