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Mona Locke
Mona Locke

Intellectual Ventures has hired Mona Locke, a former journalist best known as Washington State’s former first lady, as its new senior vice president of corporate communications and marketing.

The hire was announced this morning by the controversial patent holding and technology firm, based in Bellevue, Wash., and led by former Microsoft chief technology officer Nathan Myhrvold.

Locke’s appointment promises to improve the company’s political savvy as its large patent holdings continue to attract legislative and industry scrutiny and criticism.

Locke is the wife of former Washington Gov. Gary Locke, who was the U.S. ambassador to China from 2011 to 2014. Mona Locke a former television news reporter and anchor, was most recently an executive with the Puget Sound Affiliate of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, and then with the organization in Washington, D.C.

IV says in a news release that she will be responsible for leading the company’s global communications and marketing efforts including internal and external communications, marketing and public relations. She will also be a member of the company’s leadership team, working with other execs to set IV’s overall strategy and priorities.

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