Mona Locke,- the former Seattle TV reporter and first lady of Washington state, has taken on one of the toughest PR jobs in town.
Locke is now heading communications and marketing at Intellectual Ventures, the Bellevue patent hoarding and licensing company that’s been a lightning rod in national debates about “patent trolling” and patent reform.
Intellectual Ventures announced today that it hired Locke as its senior vice president of communications and marketing, in charge of internal and external communications, marketing and public relations.
Locke was previously interim executive director of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure’s Puget Sound chapter. Earlier she was national operations director of Komen’s national office in Washington, D.C. She has degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and Northwestern University and completed a Harvard Business School executive education program in nonprofit governance.
Locke worked as a reporter at KING TV and KIRO TV in Seattle before marrying an upwardly mobile politician who went on to become governor, U.S. Secretary of Commerce and ambassador to China. While she and Gary Locke were in China, she was special adviser to the EducationUSA program.
Locke probably didn’t have trouble getting the interview. The Lockes are friends with Bill and Melinda Gates. and Bill Gates is a major investor in Intellectual Ventures.
Nathan Myhrvold, a friend of Gates and former Microsoft chief technology officer, is chief executive officer of Intellectual Ventures, which he co-founded with Microsoft veteran Edward Jung in 2000.
The company makes money by licensing its vast portfolio of patents to companies and by inventing new technologies that it licenses or uses to create spinoff companies, such as Redmond antenna venture Kymeta.