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Former Washington Gov. Gary Locke will be chairman of an advisory board for Northwest Innovation Works as it develops its proposed methanol plant, the company announced Wednesday.

The three-person advisory board will provide advice and oversight to the firm. Its members include Locke; Choon Fong Shih, professor at the National University of Singapore; and David Sandalow, inaugural fellow at the Center on Global Energy Policy at Columbia University.

Members were selected based on their technical and cultural backgrounds and their experience in international relations, trade, environmental policy and economic development, the company said.

“This is a company with the right values — creating new jobs in Washington state that will help reduce the use of coal in China in the global effort against climate change," Locke said.

After Locke served as governor from 1997 to 2005, he served as Secretary of Commerce for the Obama administration from 2009 to 2011 and later U.S. ambassador to China from 2011 to 2014.

Sandalow also worked for the federal government in senior positions at the U.S. Department of Energy before joining Columbia University, where he specializes in climate and energy policy. The other board member, Shih, is an engineer and researcher at National University of Singapore. Prior to that, he was founding president of the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia.

“With the tremendous leadership joining our team today, Northwest Innovation Works positions itself as a global leader in the next generation of sustainable manufacturing,” said Simon Zhang, CEO of Northwest Innovation Works, in a prepared statement.

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