In Brief: Ann McLaughlin joins Microsoft board

• Ann McLaughlin, chair of the Aspen Institute, has joined Microsoft's board of directors. Filling a gap left by the departure of Mattel president Jill Barad in Sept. 1999, McLaughlin might help Microsoft improve its damaged relationship with the U.S. political establishment. McLaughlin served as U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1987 to 1989 and has held posts in the U.S. Treasury and Interior Departments. The Aspen Institute is a management and public policy think-tank with close government connections.

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