The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) on Thursday announced its new president — Michael D. Gallagher, former Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications & Information to the Bush Administration.
The ESA is a trade organization representing the video and computer games industry. The group represents companies whose revenue comprises more than 90 percent of the $7.4 billion in entertainment software sales in the United States. The ESA was responsible for the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) and continues its efforts with the E3 Media and Business Summit, which happens this summer. It is also responsible for gaming lobbying efforts, and litigates (so far, universally successfully) against states that try to impose restrictions on violent video game sales.
Gallagher takes over the reins from Douglas Lowenstein, the organization’s founding president, who decided to step down late in 2006. Lowenstein has been the public face of the ESA throughout its rise to public awareness, representing the voice of the video and computer game industry as it’s faced criticism from politicians who say that the business hasn’t done enough to shield minors from game violence and sexuality. Lowenstein left the ESA in early 2007 to start a new investment trade association.
Gallagher’s appointment as the ESA’s new president drew praise from Microsoft Entertainment and Devices Division president Robbie Bach, chair of the ESA Board of Directors.
“Mike’s outstanding technology, policy, and government relations experience makes him a strong fit for the ESA, where issues like intellectual property, self-regulation, and industry social and economic contributions are at the forefront of the agenda,” said Bach in a prepared statement.
Gallagher starts his new job at the end of the month. He’s presently the Communications Practice chair at Perkins Cole, an international law firm. He holds degrees in Economics and Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from UCLA.