- By Clyde Prestowitz
Clyde Prestowitz is the founder and president of the Economic Strategy Institute (ESI), where he has become one of the world's leading writers and strategists on globalization and competitiveness, and an influential advisor to the U.S. and other governments. He has also advised a number of global corporations such as Intel, FormFactor, and Fedex and serves on the advisory board of Indonesia's Center for International and Strategic Studies.
New reports suggest that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is under consideration for appointment to be the new secretary of Commerce, replacing Gary Locke who will be headed to Beijing as the new U.S. ambassador.
Last week, I wrote that President Obama should not appoint a CEO on the grounds that the history of the success of business leaders as heads of major government departments is awful and also that appointing a business leader just for purposes of cozying up to business would be a terrible waste of what should be a first tier cabinet slot.
Let me take some of that back in the case of Schmidt. He is one of the rare business leaders who have a real chance of succeeding in Washington. I have known Eric for nearly thirty years and can vouch for the fact that he is savvy about policy and Washington, just as he is about business. Very importantly, he understands the significance of policy for business success and he understands globalization and the fact that globalization takes place in an environment in which the playing field is rarely level and trade is often not a win-win proposition.
Schmidt knows technology, is well known in the business community but also in the policy community. In particular he is known as an out-of-the-box thinker and as one who listens more than he talks.
I wholeheartedly urge President Obama to move ahead with this appointment. It would be good for business, good for technology, good for trade, and would also be good politics.
Clyde Prestowitz is the founder and president of the Economic Strategy Institute (ESI), where he has become one of the world's leading writers and strategists on globalization and competitiveness, and an influential advisor to the U.S. and other governments. He has also advised a number of global corporations such as Intel, FormFactor, and Fedex and serves on the advisory board of Indonesia's Center for International and Strategic Studies.| Prestowitz |
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.| Passport |