Updated: April 15, 2013
Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel and executive vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs. He leads the company's Department of Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA), which has approximately 1,100 employees located in 55 countries and is responsible for the company's legal work, its intellectual property portfolio and patent licensing business, and its government affairs and philanthropic work. He also serves as Microsoft's corporate secretary and its chief compliance officer.
Since becoming general counsel in 2002, Smith has overseen numerous negotiations leading to competition law and intellectual property agreements with governments around the world and with companies across the IT sector. He has helped spearhead the growth in the company's intellectual property portfolio and the launch of global campaigns to bring enforcement actions against those engaged in software piracy and counterfeiting, malware, consumer fraud, and other digital crimes. He has played a leading role within Microsoft and in the IT sector on privacy, immigration, and computer science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education policy issues.
Smith has played a central role in ensuring that Microsoft fulfills its corporate responsibilities. In recent years Microsoft has consistently ranked in the top 2 percent of the S&P 500 for corporate governance scores. He serves as Microsoft's senior executive responsible for the company's corporate citizenship and philanthropic work, including a new multi-billion dollar, companywide commitment to creating opportunities for 300 million youth around the world during the next three years. Smith has also helped advance several significant diversity and pro bono initiatives, both within Microsoft and in the broader legal profession. He currently co-chairs the board of directors of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and is the chair-elect of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity.
In Washington state, Smith has served as chair of the Washington Roundtable, a leading Washington state-based business organization, and he has advanced several statewide education initiatives. In 2010 he chaired for Governor Christine Gregoire her Higher Education Funding Task Force, and in 2012 he co-chaired the transition team for incoming Governor Jay Inslee. Since 2011 he has chaired at the appointment of the governor the Washington Opportunity Scholarship Program, the nation's first private-public funded endowment to enable more students to attend college. In 2010-11, Smith and his wife, Kathy Surace-Smith, also an attorney, co-chaired the annual campaign for the United Way of King County, the country's largest United Way campaign.
Smith currently serves as president of the Association of General Counsel. Earlier this year he was named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States. He has written numerous articles and commentaries regarding international intellectual property and Internet, immigration, and education policy issues, and has served as a lecturer at The Hague Academy of International Law. He can be followed at http://twitter.com/#BradSmi.