Fred Humphries is Microsoft’s Corporate Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs (USGA). Fred serves as Microsoft’s chief public policy advocate, internally and externally, on all aspects of federal, state, and civic affairs. His team provides policy and regulatory expertise, political engagement, and outreach that advances the company’s advocacy goals. He communicates with policymakers on Microsoft’s leadership in fostering economic and job opportunities in the U.S. Fred also oversees the Microsoft team responsible for engagement with the United Nations and International Organizations (UNIO), chairs the company’s Global Government Affairs Council, and is responsible for reviewing strategies and initiatives for Microsoft’s government affairs work worldwide.
As part of his stewardship of a broad, multilateral team, Fred sets the company’s government engagement strategy on the most pressing policy issues facing the technology industry to earn trust and adapt to regulation, enable inclusive economic growth, and use technology to solve big societal problems. This includes cloud computing, privacy, trade, cybersecurity, education, racial equity, immigration, and emerging technologies.
Fred joined Microsoft in 2000 as Director of State Governmental Affairs, building a team responsible for outreach to governors, mayors, and local elected officials in every state capital. In that position, Fred integrated on-the-ground state advocacy work into Microsoft’s overall corporate strategy in coordination with the public sector, policy, and lobbying teams. Later Fred was promoted to Microsoft’s Managing Director of U.S. Government Affairs in 2009 and Corporate Vice President in 2015.
Fred received a J.D. from Temple University School of Law and a B.A. in Political Science from Morehouse College.
“I have a commitment to the community and trying to contribute to society. After working in government, I saw the opportunity to be a champion on different issues by joining a mission-driven company like Microsoft. We are focused on some of the most pressing policy issues of the day, and innovation is constant,“- Fred explains.
What Success Means
Fred believes success is a multifaceted concept that evolves over time. At present, success means being able to do his job and lead the way he wants to while foreseeing how certain situations might affect decision-making and responses. He also believes success is achieved when one has gained sufficient expertise and knowledge to anticipate future outcomes based on past experiences and lessons learned.
Making Our Society a Better Place to Live
Outside of this capacity as the Corporate Vice President of USGA at Microsoft, Fred serves on the boards of several non-profit and public service organizations to support and mentor the communities around him and improve the public good. Currently, he is an active member of the Morehouse College Board of Trustees, Temple University Beasley School of Law Board of Visitors, National Association of Manufacturers, Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, The Center for a New American Security, US Chambers Board of Directors, The Greater Washington Goodwill, Bryce Harlow Foundation, International Foundation for Electoral Systems, The Mission Continues, Policing Project Advisory Board, 1890 Presidents Advisory Board Council, Software.org/BSA Foundation, USTR Trade Advisory Committee on Africa, and the John and Lillian Miles Lewis Foundation.
Suggestion for Younger Self
Fred believes acknowledging the pivotal role played by one’s manager and manager’s manager in professional growth and development is essential. There are two significant reasons for this. Firstly, these two individuals serve as the employees’ advocates within the organization. They are the ones who are familiar with the decision-makers and the criteria used to evaluate the quality of work. Secondly, they have the power to determine whether to invest in the employees’ development and to recommend them for higher-level opportunities. Depending on where the employee stands in the organizational hierarchy, these relationships can help them progress in their career. The importance of these relationships has remained constant over time, as the employee must perform their job well and earn the support of their superiors. A champion who advocates for the employee and exposes them to other stakeholders who can appreciate their talents is vital to success.
“Microsoft enables digital transformation for the era of an intelligent cloud and an intelligent edge. Our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. We are committed to creating a more inclusive, equitable, sustainable, and trusted future as we drive global economic growth. Our vision is to help people and businesses throughout the world realize their full potential,“- Fred emphasized.
He envisions Microsoft thriving and retaining its position as a frontrunner in the tech world in the next five years. Having witnessed Microsoft’s tremendous growth in his last 22 years at the company, Fred anticipates further progress as Microsoft continues introducing innovative products and services each year. Also, with recent strides in artificial intelligence, Fred believes that Microsoft’s future is bright and the company’s success will only continue to flourish year after year.