Michael D. Gallagher, former president and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association, takes the reins of the Washington Policy Center » Publications » Washington Policy Center

SEATTLE- After an extensive nationwide search and recruiting effort, the board of trustees of the Washington Policy Center (WPC), the state’s premier free-market think tank, appointed Michael D. Gallagher the new CEO and President of the organization. Gallagher was assistant secretary of commerce for telecommunications and information for the George W. Bush administration. He then served for 11 years as President and CEO of the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) based in Washington DC.

“We were looking for someone with the experience and vision to take WPC to a new level,” said Mark Pinkowski, Chairman of the Board of WPC. “And you can’t meet Mike without being impressed. His incredible success in industry and his expertise in government, combined with his energy, drive and optimism, is the perfect combination. We can’t wait to see what he will do for Washington.

While leading the ESA, Mr. Gallagher built broad bipartisan support for the industry across the United States, working with industry champions in state legislatures, the United States Congress , at the White House and in the media. During his tenure, Mr. Gallagher restored the industry’s trade show, E3, to global recognition, worked with entertainment industry leaders to prevail in the association’s victory over the Supreme Court in 2011 and has partnered with other leading organizations including AARP, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and Sesame Street to raise the profile of the dynamic video game industry. For the past three years, Mr. Gallagher has advised a portfolio of early-stage technology companies as CEO of Intrepidity, the investment advisory firm he founded.

“I am honored to be the next CEO of the Washington Policy Center,” Gallagher said. “The Washington Policy Center is recognized not only as the leading free market think tank in Washington State, but also as a key driver of free market ideals nationwide. I look forward to adding my global, state, and federal political experience to the work WPC does for the people of Washington State.

Former Washington State Attorney General Rob McKenna, is a longtime friend and colleague of Gallagher. “Mike is a born leader who is smart, pragmatic and visionary,” McKenna explained. “I admire his ability to bring people together by identifying common interests and defining issues to attract broad support.” McKenna and Gallagher each worked at Perkins Coie, where Gallagher was a partner and co-chair of the Perkins Coie Communications practice group. “Mike is a perfect fit for the Washington Policy Center and will be a formidable leader of our nation’s largest and most influential state think tank,” McKenna said.

“For years Mike has dedicated his life’s work to preserving freedom and promoting economic opportunity for all,” shared Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA-05), a ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “His enormous success and proven leadership — coupled with his deep understanding of the policy areas that matter most to Washington State — make him an excellent choice to lead the Washington Policy Center. I look forward to our continued partnership to deliver results for the families who call our great state home.

“The correlation of forces in Washington state — between those who want to advance the interests of government and those who value freedom and opportunity — has shifted,” observed Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. “The Washington Policy Center has pulled off a smash hit by convincing the talented, experienced, knowledgeable and principled Michael Gallagher to return to the right Washington to serve as CEO of the think tank that bills itself as a premier structure. in the network of groups and individuals committed to redressing the balance between state and local policies that harm families and economic growth in Washington State. Norquist added, “Washington State will now have a fighting chance to ease the burden of the heavy hand of government and give its families and businesses a much better deal.”

Taking the reins of WPC marks a return to Washington State for the Gallagher family. Two of his children were born in Washington, and he served Congressman Rick White as his chief of staff. “On a personal level, it’s fantastic to go back to our roots in Washington State,” Gallagher said. “It’s politics that got us out of state to serve Congressman Rick White in 1994 and to serve as assistant secretary in President Bush’s Commerce Department – and it’s politics that brings us back to the State today.”

The Washington Policy Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to improving lives through free market solutions.




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