Former software lobbyist tapped for trade post

President Obama has nominated a former software trade group lobbyist for a top trade office.

Robert Holleyman spent more than two decades as the chief executive of BSA/the Software Alliance, a trade organization for software companies that counts Apple, IBM, Microsoft and other top computer firms among its members.

On Wednesday evening, the president tapped him to be a deputy U.S. trade representative.

If confirmed by the Senate, Holleyman would play a big role in the Obama administration’s push to finalize pending trade deals with the Asia-Pacific and European countries. The efforts have hit a snag recently, as top Democrats in Congress have come out against a measure that would let the president fast-track the deals through Congress.

There are currently three deputy trade representatives at the trade office, serving under U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman.

At the software lobbying group, Holleyman focused on combating piracy and protecting intellectual property.

Since stepping down last year, he has founded a cloud technology company called Cloud4Growth. The firm seeks to help companies and government agencies take advantage of the benefits of utilizing “big data” and information based on the cloud.

He previously worked for the Senate Commerce Committee and late Sen. Russell Long (D-La.).