Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel and executive vice president, Legal and Corporate Affairs. He leads the company's Legal and Corporate Affairs Group, 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, public policy and corporate citizenship and philanthropic work. He also serves as Microsoft's corporate secretary and its chief compliance officer. He joined Microsoft in 1993, and before becoming general counsel in 2002 he spent three years leading the LCA team in Europe, then five years serving as the deputy general counsel responsible for LCA’s teams outside the United States.
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 played a leading role within Microsoft and in the IT sector on intellectual property, privacy, immigration and computer science education policy issues. As the senior executive responsible for ensuring Microsoft fulfills its corporate responsibilities, he has helped the company achieve its consistent ranking in the top 2 percent of the S&P 500 for corporate governance scores. He has played a leadership role locally and nationally on numerous charitable, diversity, business and legal initiatives. He recently was named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States.
Smith grew up in Appleton, Wis., where Green Bay seemed like the bigger city next door. He attended Princeton University, where he met his wife, Kathy, and graduated summa cum laude with a concentration in international relations and economics. He earned his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law and studied international law and economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to joining Microsoft he was an associate then partner at the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Covington and Burling, where he is still remembered as the first attorney in the long history of the firm to insist (in 1986) on having a personal computer on his desk as a condition for accepting a job offer. He can be followed at twitter.com#BradSmi.