Commerce Department Secretary John Bryson on Thursday resigned, citing health reasons that resulted in him causing two traffic accidents in Los Angeles earlier this month.
Bryson, who has headed the department since October, wrote President Obama “that the seizure I suffered on June 9 could be a distraction from my performance as secretary and our country would be better served by a change in leadership of the department.” Rebecca Blank will continue to serve as the department’s acting secretary, a role she accepted after Bryson took medical leave on June 11.
“This is a critical period for the country’s economy,” Bryson wrote in a June 20 letter to Obama. “ We must each day continue to support the growth of America’s businesses, exports and manufacturing and the vitally important jobs they create.”
Bryson, a former energy executive and co-founder of the activist group Natural Resources Defense Council, took the reins of the department after former Secretary Gary Lock left in August to become ambassador to China.