Gary Locke (1950 – )

U.S. Ambassador to China, 2011 – 2014, U.S Governor of Washington, 1997 – 2005

Gary Locke served as United States ambassador to China (2011 – 2014) and is the 21st governor of Washington (1997 – 2005). In the Obama administration, Locke served as the Secretary of Commerce (2009 – 2011).

Locke is the first governor of East Asian descent in the continental United States. He is also the only Chinese American to have ever served as governor of any state and first Chinese American to serve as U.S. ambassador to China. As governor, Locke strengthened economic ties between Washington State and China more than doubling Washington’s exports to China to over $5 billion a year.

Locke was the first Chinese American Secretary of Commerce and one of three Asian Americans in Obama’s cabinet, the other two being Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki.


“About Governor Gary Locke,”, accessed January 10, 2021,“Gary Locke,” The Institute of Politics at Harvard University, accessed January 10, 2021,

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