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Microsoft general counsel to speak at commencement
Monday, Nov. 15, 2010
By Maria Ortega, WSU News Service
PULLMAN - Microsoft's General Counsel Brad Smith will be the WSU fall 2010 commencement speaker.
The event will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec.11, in the Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum. WSU President Elson S. Floyd will preside.
Almost 700 students are expected to participate in the ceremony, of 1,776 student who have applied to graduate with a December date, said Teri Hansen, WSU commencement coordinator.
Shuttle bus service between the parking lot of Lewis Alumni Centre and the coliseum will be available 9 a.m.-1 p.m. for those attending the commencement ceremony. For more information on Commencement, visit www.commencement.wsu.edu.
Smith leads Microsoft’s Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA), which has 1,000 employees and is responsible for the company’s legal work, its intellectual property portfolio, and its government affairs and philanthropic work. He also serves as Microsoft’s corporate secretary and its chief compliance officer. Smith is a member of Microsoft’s 10-person senior leadership team and is the senior executive responsible for the company’s external relations in Washington State.
Smith also serves as chair of the Washington Roundtable, a leading state business organization, and is chairing the Governor’s Higher Education Funding Task Force. He has led Microsoft’s work to promote state education reform and stronger investments in transportation and other infrastructures.
He and his wife are co-chairing the 2010-11 annual campaign for the United Way of King County, the largest United Way campaign in the country. This year’s campaign seeks to raise $25 million for early learning for low income children, the largest charitable fund of its type ever established.
Smith joined Microsoft in 1993, where his first position was in Paris leading the European legal and corporate affairs group. Before that he was a partner at the law firm of Covington & Burling, where he worked in the firm's Washington, D.C. and London offices.
Smith grew up in Wisconsin and graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, where he received the Class of 1901 Medal, the Dewitt Clinton Poole Memorial Prize, and the Harold Willis Dodds Achievement Award, the highest award given to a graduating senior. He was an honors graduate at the Columbia University School of Law and studied international law and economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.