September 15, 2022

EDA: Kathi Vidal Appointed to Serve as Third Federal Co-Chair of National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), has been appointed as the third Federal Co-Chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation & Entrepreneurship (NACIE).

NACIE is a federal advisory committee managed by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurshipand charged with identifying and recommending solutions to drive the innovation economy, including growing a skilled STEM workforce and removing barriers for entrepreneurs ushering innovative technologies into the market. The council also facilitates federal dialogue with the innovation, entrepreneurship, and workforce development communities.

In May, Secretary Raimondo reestablished NACIE with the appointment of 32 leaders in technology, innovation, workforce development and academia. The Council is charged with developing a National Entrepreneurship Strategy that strengthens America’s ability to compete and win as the world’s leading startup nation and as the world’s leading innovator in critical emerging technologies.

“Under Secretary Vidal’s expertise complements NACIE’s two outstanding Federal Co-Chairs and will help enable NACIE to craft actionable, impactful policy recommendations,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “As we work to strengthen U.S. competitiveness further on the global stage and better support our entrepreneurs and innovators, incentivizing innovation and protecting it through our intellectual property system are critical assets that should be prioritized.”

As the chief executive of the USPTO, Vidal leads one of the largest intellectual property (IP) offices in the world, with more than 13,000 employees and an annual budget of more than $4 billion. She is the principal IP advisor to the President and the Administration, through the Secretary of Commerce, and is focused on incentivizing and protecting U.S. innovation, entrepreneurship, and creativity. USPTO’s mission is to help American workers and businesses compete and collaborate, especially in ground-breaking technologies and across all demographics.

NACIE’s other federal co-chairs are Alejandra Y. Castillo, Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration; and Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan, Director, National Science Foundation. NACIE’s non-federal co-chairs are Steve Case, Chairman/CEO, Revolution; Co-Founder, AOL, and Kristina M. Johnson, President, The Ohio State University. (Click here to view bios of current NACIE members.)

“I look forward to collaborating with Under Secretary Vidal on NACIE,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “As we strengthen innovation economies and remove barriers for entrepreneurs, we need to ensure that these opportunities are inclusive to allow for success in all pockets of our country.”

Throughout its history, NACIE has presented recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce along the research-to-jobs continuum, such as increasing access to capital, growing and connecting entrepreneurial communities, fostering small business-driven research and development, supporting the commercialization of key technologies, and developing the workforce of the future. Several of these recommendations have been implemented through legislative action, federal grant programs, or Commerce-led research and have spurred action and collaboration between the public and private sector.

“I look forward to serving Secretary Gina Raimondo and our country as a Federal Co-Chair on the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” said Kathi Vidal, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO. “To grow and maintain a strong U.S. economy, we must foster and promote innovation and entrepreneurship everywhere and from everyone, and we must protect and incentivize the same with intellectual property. Together with Federal Co-Chair Alejandra Castillo and NACIE, we will scale our efforts, reach people where they are, and bring about real change.”

For more about NACIE, visit

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation’s regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

This post was originally published here.