theodp writes: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella promoted General Counsel Brad Smith to president and chief legal officer Friday, the first time Microsoft has had a company-wide president since 2002. Smith has been Microsoft's point person on convincing Congress of America's tech-worker shortage, an assertion that is disputed by others. At a 2012 forum on STEM education and immigration reform, Smith discussed "producing a crisis" to galvanize action on Microsoft's National Talent Strategy, which calls for increasing the number of H-1B visas to ostensibly make up for U.S. children's lack of CS-savvy. Coincidentally, a real national K-12 CS and tech immigration crisis emerged shortly thereafter, thanks to the efforts of new deep-pocketed nonprofit organizations like Code.org (headed by Smith's next-door neighbor) and Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC. Smith is a Code.org Board member and a FWD.us 'Major Contributor'. "We took this idea of connecting immigration to education last fall," Smith explained to the Daily Princetonian in 2013, "and when I started in September, we were the only ones talking about it. To have the White House endorse it, to have it embodied in the Senate Bill, to have people in both houses of Congress supporting it means that potentially this is a magic moment for some important steps for education reform as well." While crying crisis wolf to further its agenda has worked well for Microsoft, a Federal judge recently overturned 'emergency' tech immigration changes enacted by Homeland Security in 2008, saying that "the 17-month duration of the STEM extension appears to have been adopted directly from the unanimous suggestions by Microsoft."
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