Zoë Baird is Senior Counselor for Technology and Economic Growth to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. In this role, Baird focuses on advancing U.S. competitiveness in key technologies and ensuring the economic benefits are broadly shared by innovative businesses and a well-trained workforce. Prior to Commerce, Baird was CEO and President of the Markle Foundation.
Under Ms. Baird’s leadership at Markle, she formed the Rework America Alliance, a nationwide partnership of civil rights groups, nonprofits, private sector employers, labor unions, educators, and others, working to get people who have not completed college into better-paying jobs with opportunities for career growth. Also under Ms. Baird’s leadership, Markle established a nonpartisan Rework America State Network, comprised of 30 governors and the mayor of the District of Columbia, to modernize the labor market.
Previously, Ms. Baird led Markle’s collaborative efforts to reform our nation’s approach to intelligence and law enforcement after 9/11 to protect the country against terrorism while protecting civil liberties. She originated and led U.S. participation in the G-8 Digital Opportunity Task Force in 2000. Baird also established Markle’s Connecting for Health initiative.
Ms. Baird has extensive experience domestically and internationally. She worked for Counsel to the President, Lloyd Cutler, as Associate Counsel to President Jimmy Carter (1980–1981). She subsequently joined Warren Christopher at O’Melveny & Myers in Washington, D.C. She left her partnership at O’Melveny in 1986 to join the GE legal department, where she was Counselor and Staff Executive. Ms. Baird served as Senior Vice President & General Counsel at Aetna Life & Casualty Company (1990–1996). During this time, Ms. Baird was President Clinton’s initial nominee for United States Attorney General (1993).
While at Aetna, she founded Lawyers for Children America, which recruits and trains lawyers in private practice and corporate legal departments to represent abused and neglected children.
Ms. Baird served on President Biden and Secretary of Commerce Raimondo’s National Artificial Intelligence Advisory Committee and Chaired its Working Group on International Cooperation (2022).
She was Co-Chair of the Department of Commerce Digital Economy Board of Advisors to the Secretary of Commerce appointed by Secretary Pritzker (2016–2017), member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (1994–2000), the Congressional Commission on Roles and Capabilities of the U.S. Intelligence Community (1995), the Department of Defense Science Board Summer Study on Terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction (1997), the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships (1997), the International Competition Policy Advisory Committee to the Attorney General (2000), U.S. Representative to the G-8 Digital Opportunity Task Force (2000-2002), the Department of Defense Technology and Privacy Advisory Committee (2003-2004), and the National Security Cyber Awareness and Response Panel (2010–2011).
Ms. Baird graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of California, Berkeley, with an A.B. with highest honors in Political Science, and Communications and Public Policy (1974). She earned a J.D. from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California Berkeley (1977).