Former PTO Director Michelle Lee Re-joins ChIPs Board

SAN FRANCISCO (January 2, 2018) – ChIPs, a nonprofit corporation that advances women in technology, law and policy, announced today that the Honorable Michelle K. Lee, has re-joined the board of directors. The board at its last quarterly meeting unanimously voted to approve Lee, a founding member of ChIPs, for a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2018.

Lee’s appointment follows her return to the Bay Area after several years in public service, starting with her role founding the patent office’s landmark Silicon Valley satellite office and then her appointment as Undersecretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. After stepping down from the PTO in June, Lee began volunteering with ChIPs, the organization she helped found more than a decade ago when she was Deputy General Counsel at Google.

“I am honored and excited to rejoin the board of ChIPs, an organization I had the privilege of co-founding in 2005,” Lee said. “Our mission was simple — to connect and promote the advancement of women in technology, law and policy with the goal of accelerating innovation at the confluence of these fields. The work of ChIPs is just as important today as it was when we founded the organization almost 13 years ago, and I am glad to be a part of this effort.”

“We are delighted that Michelle is rejoining the board after five years serving our country and furthering innovation,”said Mallun Yen, ChIPs co-founder, board director and CEO. “She brings with her a unique global perspective and keen understanding of the critical intersectionality of cutting-edge technologies and governmental policy.”

ChIPs honored Lee this year as the 2017 Hall of Fame inductee, recognizing the trail she blazed from Silicon Valley to Washington, D.C., when she became the first woman to serve as the Under Secretary of Commerce and Director of the USPTO in its 200+ year history. Lee is currently the Herman Phleger Visiting Professor at Law at Stanford Law School, where she will teach a joint engineering and law course on disruptive technologies and their impact on laws and regulations as well as a course on intellectual property law.

ChIPs also announced that co-founder and board director Julie Mar-Spinola left the board, effective December 31, 2017, after more than a decade of continuous service. Mar-Spinola, a board chair emeritus, will remain involved in key ChIPs initiatives, such as development of student chapters.

“I leave with many fond memories and expectations that there will be many more great things coming from this amazing organization we built together, especially now with Michelle rejoining and the recent addition of Oracle General Counsel Dorian Daley,” Mar-Spinola said. “Not only am I extremely proud of ChIPs’ accomplishments as an organization, I am even more proud that the ChIPs Board held up our mission to support other women in our collective space and led by example.”

“We’re thankful to Julie for her many contributions during her 13 years on the board, which includes spearheading our first Hall of Fame award,” said Co-Founder and Board Chair Noreen Krall. “As a co-founder, she’ll always be a critical part of ChIPs and we’re grateful she’ll continue to work with the next generation of leaders on student chapters.”

With Lee’s appointment and Mar-Spinola’s departure, the board has seven members, the number provided by charter.