Howard Malcolm "Mac" Baldrige (October 4, 1922 – July 25, 1987) was the 26th United States Secretary of Commerce. He was the son of H. Malcolm Baldrige, a Congressman from Nebraska.
Malcolm Baldrige was nominated to be Secretary of Commerce by President Ronald Reagan on December 11, 1980, and confirmed by the United States Senate on January 22, 1981.
During his tenure, Baldrige played a major role in developing and carrying out Administration trade policy. He took the lead in resolving difficulties in technology transfers with China and India. Baldrige held the first Cabinet-level talks with the Soviet Union in seven years which paved the way for increased access for U.S. firms to the Soviet market. He was highly regarded by the world's most pre-eminent leaders.
Baldrige's award-winning managerial excellence contributed to long-term improvement in economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in government. Within the Commerce Department, Baldrige reduced the budget by more than 30% and administrative personnel by 25%.
Prior to entering the Cabinet, Baldrige was chairman and chief executive officer of Scovill, Inc., Waterbury, Connecticut. Having joined Scovill in 1962, he is credited with leading its transformation from a financially troubled brass mill to a highly diversified manufacturer of consumer, housing and industrial goods.
Baldrige was a proponent of quality management as a key to this country's prosperity and long-term strength. He took a personal interest in the legislation that became the Quality Improvement Act of 1987 and helped draft one of the early versions. In recognition of his contributions, Congress named the annual award (see Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award) for product quality in his honor.