NORTHWEST ASIAN WEEKLY
President Joe Biden appointed Kendee Yamaguchi as Deputy Assistant Secretary for the International Trade Administration. She was officially sworn in on Monday. Kendee will lead the federal government’s domestic efforts to promote exports abroad and attract inward investment to grow jobs in the United States.
She will oversee nearly 300 trade professionals in more than 100 U.S. cities.
“I congratulate Kendee on this recent appointment by President Biden,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Having served in several leadership roles in my Administration, she is a dynamic leader, global thinker, and a champion for our businesses and local governments in creating thousands of jobs supporting the prosperity of our state. As one of the most trade dependent states in the nation, she will bring invaluable experience to our country in this leadership role.”
“Kendee is an exceptional leader with deep roots in public service,” said Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA10). “Her economic development expertise and commitment to equity are strong assets that will serve us well as she takes on this new role at the U.S. Department of Commerce.”
“I applaud the appointment of Kendee Yamaguchi to this crucial role in the Biden Administration,” said Port of Seattle Commission President Sam Cho. “As a gateway for the Pacific Northwest, we depend on the flow of goods for the economic security and the livelihood of everyday Americans in our region. In times of economic uncertainty, we need leaders like Kendee who can continue to bolster the exports of US goods and services while simultaneously attracting international investments for continued economic growth. I look forward to working with Kendee in her new role in the administration.”
Yamaguchi has more than 20 years in executive management working closely with local, state, and national government leaders, businesses, and investors across the globe to promote job creation, public investment, and cultural diversity. She has deep experience within the aerospace, technology, agriculture, energy, and life sciences sectors of the economy. Most recently, she served as Deputy Mayor of Seattle, one of the largest cities in the nation, where her primary responsibilities included coordinating City priorities on business, cultural initiatives, and external relations. She also served Washington state as Assistant Director of its Department of Commerce, and as an Assistant Attorney General.
Yamaguchi’s work in the U.S. Pacific Northwest includes her serving as a delegate on many trade missions to Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas. While Executive Director for Snohomish County, she was responsible for an airport which was home to the largest aerospace manufacturing facility in the world and established the nation’s first airport commercial terminal through a public/private partnership. She was also a cabinet member to Governors Jay Inslee and Chris Gregoire. During the Clinton Administration, she held roles managing events and in management. This includes her work on the Executive Order creating the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders, an effort to advise the President on ways the public, private and non-profit sectors can work together to advance opportunity, justice, and equity.
Yamaguchi earned her bachelor’s degree from American University and law degree from Seattle University. She has served on the Seattle Ethics and Elections Commission, Washington State Bar Association Professionalism Committee, and local and national boards.
Kendee’s family history includes time in a Japanese American internment camp in the Pacific Northwest, which inspired in her a passion for righting past injustices.