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Ambassador Gary  Locke Image

Ambassador Gary Locke

U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China (2011-2014); Secretary of Commerce (2009-2011); Governor of Washington (1997-2005)

Travels From:
Washington
Fee Range:
$40,000 - $60,000

Often considered one of the top speakers for doing business in China, Ambassador Gary Locke has spent more than three decades working with – and in – China. He is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on U.S.-China relations, global expansion, and business growth.

Drawing on his vast experiences as U.S. Ambassador to China, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and two-term Governor of Washington, “the nation’s most trade-dependent state “, Locke offers a wealth of knowledge on some of the most vital issues confronting America and the international community today.

Featured Videos

Gary Locke: Project Pengyou Beijing Launch Event - Dece ...

Gary Locke (01/16/12) | Charlie Rose

Speaker Resources

  • Ambassador Gary  Locke
  • Ambassador Gary  Locke

Spending more than three decades working with, and in, China, Ambassador Gary Locke is one of the world's foremost authorities on U.S.-China relations in addition to global innovation and business growth. Drawing on his vast experiences as U.S. Ambassador to China, U.S. Secretary of Commerce, and two-term Governor of Washington " the nation's most trade-dependent state " Locke offers a wealth of knowledge on some of the most vital issues confronting America and the international community today.

Gary Locke is the only Chinese-American to have served in three vitally important leadership roles in the U.S: as Ambassador to China, as Secretary of Commerce, and as a U.S. Governor. Locke shares with audiences his insider's perspective on how organizations may improve their economic ties with China - just as he did for the U.S. while serving as Ambassador. His widely credited leadership in Chinese trade policy helped level the playing field for U.S. businesses, and is also responsible for stimulating increased investment by China in the U.S., which has created many American jobs. Leveraging his unique background and remarkable diplomatic accomplishments, Locke provides audiences with keen insights on how to grow an organization's global presence in China, despite the complex and multifaceted differences between the two cultures.

Beyond China, Gary Locke is known for cultivating business and innovation growth while as Secretary of Commerce and Governor of Washington. His tenure accelerated the growth of many industries and companies despite the recent recession. By dramatically reducing the average wait time for patent issuance while also depleting the backlog of patent applications, he expedited the delivery of innovations and services that spurred major economic growth and creation. He offers audiences the framework to successfully expand a business globally through innovation and efficiency.

Gary Locke's unique experience allows him to shed light on broad economic growth and foreign policy issues, including trade, human rights, environmental protection and sustainable growth, job creation, and intellectual property protection. As a speaker, he is a must for any organization wanting to navigate the complex, yet opportunistic, waters of this vitally important trade partner.

  • Source

    Former US Secretary of Commerce Reflects on Successes

    (The Harvard Crimson) – Gary F. Locke, former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and former U.S. ambassador to China, reflected on his political experiences and the future of U.S.-China relations at the Institute of Politics.

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    Gary Locke, former state governor, to speak at Democrats’ fundraiser at 7 Cedars on Oct. 23

    (Peninsula Daily News) – Gary Locke — former Washington state governor, U.S. secretary of commerce and ambassador to China — will speak at the Clallam County Democrats’ annual fundraiser, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner.

  • Source

    Scholarship targets low-income Chinese students

    “With those students getting a glimpse of American life and getting the best college education in the world, they will be more effective as business leaders, political leaders and scientists, which will enhance the U.S.-China relationship.”

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    Xi Jinping wants China to be a proud nation: Gary Locke

    The upcoming meeting, the second time Xi has visited Obama in the US as president, though it is his first full state visit, is a significant opportunity for the two countries to improve diplomatic relations, said Locke, who stepped down as the US envoy to Beijing last year.

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    Gary Locke: Contentious talks ahead for Chinese president in both Washingtons

    (My Northwest) – Heated discussions over various points of contention will be on the menu for Xi Jinping and the American business leaders he is meeting with, former Washington Governor Gary Locke told Seattle’s Morning News on KIRO Radio.

  • Source

    Gary Locke Rejoins Davis Wright Tremaine as Senior Advisor

    (Business Wire) – Davis Wright Tremaine (DWT) today announced that former U.S. Ambassador to China, U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Washington State Governor Gary Locke has rejoined the firm as Senior Advisor and Consultant.

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    Locke: China doesn’t have full control of economy

    CNN’s Richard Quest speaks to Gary Locke, former U.S. Ambassador to China, about Chinese markets and Donald Trump’s comments on the U.S.’s dealings with China.

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    Gary Locke looks ahead to working in the private sector

    By Jim Brunner 
    Seattle Times political reporter

    (Seattle Times) – Former Gov. Gary Locke plans to join the private sector and says he has no plans to seek elected office again now that he’s returned from a two-year stint as U.S. ambassador to China.

    In one of his first interviews since returning to Seattle, Locke on Friday dismissed rumors that he could be sought out as a vice-presidential nominee for Democrats in 2016.

  • Source

    What Does It Mean to Be Chinese?

    (The Diplomat) – A racially based definition of “Chineseness” keeps China from becoming a truly globalized nation.

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    Top US & Chinese Leaders Fostering Stronger Ties

    NEW YORK, April 27, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — The Committee of 100—the first and longest-standing organization of prominent Chinese Americans, founded in 1990 by individuals such as I.M. Pei and Yo-Yo Ma—successfully concluded its 25th anniversary celebrations with current and former U.S. and Chinese government officials including Dr. Henry Kissinger, U.S. Ambassadors Gary Locke and Stapleton Roy, along with other diplomats and business leaders such as Stephen Schwarzman and Ronnie Chan, who praised the organization for effectively promoting the U.S.-China relationship.

  • Gary Locke, Selects WWSG For Exclusive Representation

    Gary F. Locke, the former U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, has selected Worldwide Speakers Group for exclusive representation of his global speaking activities. A former U.S. Secretary of Commerce and Governor of Washington, Locke is widely recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on U.S.-China relations, global expansion, and business growth.

  • Source

    Interview: Former U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke

    (Harvard Political Review) – When asked about his time at the American embassy in China, Lock reflected, “It was an incredible experience.”

  • Source

    Asia-Pacific nervous, waiting to see what Trump will do in office: Locke

    (CNBC) – There’s “a lot of nervousness” in the entire Asia-Pacific region ahead of U.S. president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration later in the global day, said former U.S. ambassador to China, Gary Locke.

This is the story of the Locke family’s journey in America. Starting with Gary’s grandfather, who came to America, from China, as a young teen and worked as a houseboy for a family in the state capital, to Gary being sworn in as Governor and moving into the Governor’s Mansion 100 years later – one mile from the house where his grandfather washed dishes and swept floors. Fittingly for the American Dream, the Locke clan was raised on the principles of hard work, education, and taking care of each other. Locke shares with audiences his classic and compelling story – the story of tens of millions of immigrants in America – and really, the story of America itself.


In today’s globally competitive marketplace, innovation, efficiency, and performance are vital to success. As Chief Executive of Washington State, the head of Commerce – a 40,000 person Government agency that spans 80 countries – and Ambassador to a critical U.S. mission abroad, Gary Locke is widely respected as a results oriented, efficiency driven leader. Locke’s hands on leadership style has focused on rethinking and reforming processes that aren’t working well. By peeling back the layers and cutting through bureaucracies, he was able to achieve stunning results in such enormous endeavors as the U.S. Census operations – where his active management led to a 2010 Census that came in on time and under budget, halting a three-decade long decline in results – while saving the U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars. Additionally, Locke directed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to dramatically reduce the patent backlog and wait times – thereby, speeding the delivery of innovative goods and services to the marketplace and, in turn, spurring economic growth and creating jobs. Locke shares with audiences how innovative approaches, creative problem solving, and focus on efficiency can inspire organizations to superior performance and create win-win outcomes.


As he has done throughout his career, Locke approached his role as Ambassador to China with a depth and efficiency unparalleled. Not only did he initiate the first-ever ambassadorial business development missions to promote many different American industries – including software, aviation, healthcare, rail, energy, and environmental technologies – he did so as a strong advocate for intellectual property rights. Protecting and encouraging American innovation has never been more important, and Locke is keenly aware that a strong intellectual property system enables successful creators and innovators to secure access to capital and hire employees- thereby, creating new jobs, new industries and new economic opportunities. Ambassador Locke has also displayed an eager advocacy for human rights and helped negotiate the release of blind Chinese dissident, Chen Guangcheng, in a delicate, high profile case. Additionally, Locke’s leadership on the Embassy’s air quality monitoring program has helped focus the Chinese government, and public opinion, on the urgency of environmental protection and sustainable development. Locke will share with audiences the many balancing acts necessary to achieve fairness, dignity, and prosperity in a globally connected, yet competitive world.


Relations between these two power-house countries have never been more important, and perhaps nobody is better positioned to shed light on the intricacies that make up this relationship than Ambassador Gary Locke. In August 2011, Locke was sworn-in as the 10th U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China, having been nominated by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the Senate – making him the first Chinese-American to assume that post. Locke assumed the post during a delicate time in U.S./China relations, yet also as the two countries were becoming more intertwined than perhaps ever before. Locke’s indirect and direct advocacy with the Chinese government have helped promote bilateral investment, rule of law, a more level playing field for U.S. companies, and Chinese investment into the U.S. His deep expertise in global trade and diplomacy, first as Governor of Washington State, then as Commerce Secretary, allow him to share with audiences the many nuances that come into play while trying to promote mutual benefits between two uniquely different cultures that are vitally dependent upon each other.Some of the topics covered could include:



  • Economic challenges and opportunities for western businesses.

  • The prospects for economic and political reform in China.

  • A vast country with vast differences; from skyscrapers and bullet trains, to rice paddies and water buffaloes.

  • America’s economic and strategic objectives in China


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  • "A highly respected authority on China and global competitiveness."

  • "Insightful and engaging!"

  • "I truly felt privileged to have someone of your caliber speak to our group, providing such thoughtful comments and in-depth analysis of the current state of United States-China relations."