The Honorable Michelle K. Lee is a futurist, a corporate board director for Fortune companies, a strategic advisor and keynote speaker on digital transformation through artificial intelligence (AI), data and intellectual property, and an advocate for diversity and inclusion. Ms. Lee’s insights were gained over decades of experiences at the top levels of technology, law, business (Amazon and Google) and government. Most recently, Ms. Lee served as a senior executive at Amazon Web Services, where she was the Vice President of Amazon Web Services Machine Learning Solutions Lab leading a global business whose mission is to work with companies from all sectors to solve their business needs using AI and machine learning solutions. In this role, she helped companies identify and implement the “art of the possible and practical” in AI. She also played a key role on policy, fairness and regulatory matters related to AI services. Prior to that, Ms. Lee held an appointment as the Herman Phleger Visiting Professor at Stanford Law School where she taught on disruptive technologies (artificial intelligence and driverless cars) and their impact on existing laws and regulations. Ms. Lee also served as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), one of the largest intellectual property offices in the world. In this position, she was the chief executive officer of a 13,000 person agency with a budget of $3.4 billion and the principal advisor to the President of the United States, through the Secretary of Commerce, on domestic and international intellectual property policy. She is the first woman and first person of color to serve as Director in the country’s 220+ year history. She is one of the foremost intellectual property strategists in the world and a career-long advocate for women and girls in science, technology, engineering, math and computers.
Before joining the USPTO, Ms. Lee was an executive at Google, serving as Deputy General Counsel, and a partner at the Silicon Valley law firm of Fenwick & West. Before this, Ms. Lee worked as a computer scientist at Hewlett-Packard Research Laboratories and the MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She holds a B.S. and an M.S. in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Ms. Lee also serves as a corporate director on the boards of MassMutual (a Fortune 123 company), Unity Software (NYSE: U) and Callisto Media. In addition, she is a member of The MIT Corporation (MIT’s board of trustees and governing body), and The Council on Foreign Relations.
Articles, Publications, and Appearances
Video Interviews & Panels
- National Association of Corporate Directors (June 16, 2022)
- Wall Street Journal Tech (July 2021)
- Silicon ANGLE, theCUBE (July 31, 2015)
- MIT Management Sloan School (April 6, 2021)
- World Knolwedge Forum (October 20, 2021)
- Amazon Science (December 16, 2020)
- US Patent Office’s Michelle Lee shows us that patenting an invention doesn’t have to be expensive, hard (Tech Crunch, January 6, 2017)
- USPTO Director Launches “All in STEM” Campaign (USA Today, November 24, 2015)
In the News
- Former PTO head Michelle Lee tapped to lead Amazon AI team (Reuters, September 18, 2019)
- Former USPTO Director Michelle Lee to Head Amazon Web Services AI Unit (Law.com, September 17, 2019)