Lisa J. Brown, Ph.D., was appointed Commerce director by Gov. Inslee and began serving the agency in February of 2019.

Lisa is a longtime resident of Spokane. Prior to serving as Commerce director, she served as chancellor of Washington State University and led the health science campus there, including the creation of the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. Lisa represented the Spokane area in the state House from 1993-1996 as minority whip and minority floor leader, breaking ground as a single working mother. She then went on to the state Senate where she became the first Democratic female majority leader and served until 2013.

Lisa is an economist and has taught at Eastern Washington University and Gonzaga University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Illinois and her masters and doctoral degrees at the University of Colorado in Boulder. She has worked extensively on efforts to create jobs and support working families across Washington state.