Founder & CEO, Obsidian Strategies; Former Vice President, Machine Learning Solutions Lab, Amazon Web Services; Former Director, US Patent & Trademark Office; Director, Unity Software and MassMutual
The Honorable Michelle K. Lee is the founder and CEO of Obsidian Strategies, which advises companies and boards on identifying their highest return-on-investment digital transformation opportunities using
artificial intelligence (AI), data and intellectual property. Ms. Lee is a digital transformation strategist, corporate board director, AI technology executive, and former chief executive officer of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Ms. Lee spent most of her professional career building some of our country’s most innovative companies (Amazon and Google) and brings inter-disciplinary perspectives to her engagements based upon her experiences at the top levels of technology, law, business and government. Ms. Lee currently serves on the boards of MassMutual (Fortune 123), Unity Software (NYSE: U), Callisto Media, and The MIT Corporation, and is a member of The Council on Foreign Relations.
Recently, Ms. Lee was a senior executive and the Vice President of the Machine Learning (ML) Solutions
Lab and Computer Vision businesses at Amazon Web Services (AWS). In this position, Ms. Lee led a
global professional services team to help customers envision the art of the possible and practical with
machine learning to create new lines of business, enhance customer experiences and increase operational
efficiencies, and led AWS’ computer vision business worldwide. Ms. Lee also played a key role in
managing the policy, regulatory and ethical issues associated with AWS’ AI services.
Before Amazon, Ms. Lee served as the Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and
Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In this role, she led one of the
largest intellectual property offices in the world with annual revenues of over $3 billion and ~13,000
employees. Ms. Lee was the principal advisor to the President, through the Secretary of Commerce, on
intellectual property policy. Ms. Lee is the first woman and first person of color to hold this position in
our country’s 220+ year history, and one of the world’s foremost intellectual property strategists.
Prior to public service, Ms. Lee was an executive at Google, serving as Deputy General Counsel. She
joined the company when it was relatively young, with domestic revenue only and a few products and
services, and helped the company grow into a multi-national Fortune 500 corporation. Before Google,
Ms. Lee was a partner at Fenwick & West and a computer scientist at the Hewlett-Packard Research and
MIT Artificial Intelligence (AI) Laboratories. She holds a J.D. from Stanford, and an M.S. and B.S. from
MIT in electrical engineering and computer science, where she wrote her graduate thesis on AI. Ms. Lee
is a frequent speaker on AI, innovation, digital transformation and diversity, has testified numerous times
before Congress, and has been profiled in or been a commentator for the Wall Street Journal, Fortune,
Bloomberg, C-SPAN, NPR, the Los Angeles Times, Politico, the Brookings Institution and the
When not contemplating future technologies, Ms. Lee enjoys spending time with her family camping,
hiking and fishing.