Posted by Fred HumphriesVice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft
All the signs are pointing toward a growing consensus – high-skilled immigration is critical to our nation’s economic recovery. Now is the time to act on high-skilled immigration reform to further drive this recovery. Through government data, academic research and the frontline experience of companies across the country in a range of industries, there is a clearly established shortage of American workers with the science, technology and math skills needed to fill the new high-skilled and high-paying jobs being created across the country.
Today, Microsoft is encouraged by the bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives to pass HR 6429, the STEM Jobs Act of 2012.This bill will make up to 55,000 critically needed visas available to foreign national graduates of U.S. universities who have earned an advanced STEM degree.
While this is a positive step, further reform is needed to address our nation’s high-skilled immigration challenges.
Posted by Jeff MeisnerEditor, Microsoft on the Issues
On Thursday, Microsoft Executive Vice President of Legal &Corporate Affairs Brad Smith opened the Washington Innovation Summit, an annual day-long conference, which focuses on the key mechanisms that make innovative economies grow. Put on by the Technology Alliance and attended by local technology business leaders, education, economic and government luminaries, Brad gave a keynote addressing the challenges facing Washington in becoming a state that fosters innovation, creates high-impact jobs and the need to make investments in the state’s intellectual infrastructure.
Brad laid out a framework for how to advance the technology-based economic development in Washington, a sector that drives significant growth and economic prosperity, but has the opportunity to do much more.
Posted by John SeethoffVice President and Deputy General Counsel
I want to thank Microsoft’s shareholders who attended or voted at this year’s Annual Meeting of Shareholders. At yesterday’s annual meeting, nearly 86 percent of outstanding shares were voted. For the first time, shareholders who were unable to attend the meeting in person were able to vote online via a virtual shareholder meeting. Shareholders acted on five items of business, including one shareholder proposal.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Stephen Balkam, chief executive officer of the Family Online Safety Institute.
“A Safer Internet for All,” the Family Online Safety Institute’s (FOSI) sixth annual conference, brought together 450+ policy makers, industry leaders, educators, legislators, researchers and Internet safety advocates to discuss collaborative ways to harness the power of the Internet to do good online. Microsoft, a member of FOSI, supports the annual conference as a way to bring better awareness to the shared responsibility of staying safer online.
The two-day conference began with a very concrete reiteration of the need for science-based research on technology and its effects; the conference ignited around new research (commissioned by FOSI and conducted by Hart Research Associates) around perceptions of the “online generation gap” between parents and teens. Visit the executive summary for insights and key findings.
Posted by Brad SmithGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
November marks the end of a very long election season. It also marks the start of a new beginning. After all the campaigning and the political ads, November provides all of us a time to come together and prepare for the fast-approaching new year.
For example, here in Washington State, a new year gives us a new opportunity to forge new working relationships across the aisle and to coalesce around a shared vision for our state. At a recent meeting of the Washington Council on International Trade, I outlined one possibility for that shared vision with some thoughts on how we might keep Washington competitive in the global economy.
Like most places throughout the country, our state faces a number of significant challenges. But Washington also has some unique strengths. One big opportunity comes from the fact that Seattle is the largest city and port in the continental United States that is closest to Asia. This will not change, and there are a number of different ways that our state should be thinking about how we might build upon this.