Seattle Luncheon Keynote
Former Washington State Governor & Ambassador to China
Former Gov. Gary Locke recently completed two years as the U.S. ambassador to China, where he was instrumental in encouraging Chinese companies to do business in the United States. He also streamlined travel between the U.S. and China by drastically reducing wait times for Chinese citizens to obtain visas to visit the U.S. But perhaps what made a greater impression on the Chinese people was Locke’s reputation as a high-profile leader who eschews the trappings of power and carries his own backpack.
Long before that famous photo of Locke and his daughter at a Starbucks counter at Sea-Tac drew international attention, Washington residents knew Locke for his lack of pretension and ability to get things done behind the scenes. Born and raised in Seattle, Locke graduated from Seattle’s Franklin High School, earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale University and a law degree from Boston University. In 1987 he was elected to represent central Seattle in the Washington House of Representatives, where he served as chair of the Appropriations Committee. In 1993, he was elected King County executive. He served two terms as governor from 1997 to 2005 and was known for promoting international trade and making education a budget priority. In 2009 President Obama nominated Locke to serve in his Cabinet as the secretary of commerce; the president nominated Locke to be ambassador to China in 2011.
Locke was the first Chinese American to serve as a U.S. governor, commerce secretary or U.S. ambassador to China. Now home in Seattle with his wife, Mona Lee Locke, and his three children, he plans to continue building relationships between the two nations, both as a business adviser to Chinese and U.S. companies and by encouraging more exchanges between colleges, universities and nonprofit organizations in both countries.
Bright Idea. Right Idea.
An investment in Western is an investment in Washington's distinctive and competitive edge. Your sponsorship helps Western provide scholarships to the leaders, the visionaries, the entrepreneurs and the difference-makers of tomorrow.