“Mr. Smith is one of the most influential voices inside Microsoft …
“But Mr. Smith’s weight extends to the wider tech industry as well, partly because of his understanding of Washington. Mr. Smith worked for years as a lawyer there before moving to Microsoft’s headquarters here outside Seattle. While much of the tech industry looks upon government with a strong sense of skepticism, if not disdain, he has cultivated relationships there for years.
“‘He brings a much more Washington sensibility to the West Coast than many of his peers,’ said Anne-Marie Slaughter, a former State Department official who now runs the New America Foundation and attended Princeton University with Mr. Smith. ‘He recognizes the necessity of government engagement’ …
“Ed Lazowska, a professor of computer science at the University of Washington, said Mr. Smith has also used his bully pulpit at Microsoft to advocate investments in education and changes in immigration policy, both important issues for Microsoft and the technology industry.
“‘There are very few people for whom I have as much admiration,’ Mr. Lazowska wrote in email. ‘Imagine me saying this about a lawyer!'”
Read the New York Times profile here.
Re-printed in the Seattle Times a week later here.