Penny Pritzker was sworn in today as the United States’ 38th Commerce Secretary.
As part of President Obama’s economic team, Pritzker will lead the U.S. Department of Commerce. She was nominated for the position in May.
Pritzker is a civic and business veteran with more than 25 years of experience in the real estate, hospitality, senior living and financial services industries. She served as CEO of PSP Capital Partners and has developed companies such as Vi, The Parking Spot and Pritzker Realty Group.
President Obama appointed Pritzker to the President's Council for Jobs and Competitiveness, which formerly advised the administration on economic growth and job creation. Pritzker previously served on the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board and has also served on the boards of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co., Marmon Group and LaSalle Bank Corp. In addition, she is past executive chairman of TransUnion.
Airlines for America, an industry trade organization for U.S. airlines, applauded the Senate’s confirmation of Pritzker as the next Secretary of Commerce.
“Air transportation is an indispensable engine of economic growth, and Penny Prtizker understands and appreciates the important role U.S. carriers play in creating jobs and bolstering our economic recovery,” said Nicholas E. Calio, A4A’s president and CEO, in a written statement. “We congratulate Ms. Pritzker on her confirmation, and look forward to working with her to develop and promote travel, tourism and shipping and enable U.S. airlines to compete on a level playing field globally.”
Ed Fast, Canada’s minister of international trade and minister for the Asia-Pacific gateway, and Christian Paradis, the nation’s minister of industry and minister of state, also commended Pritzker’s confirmation in the position:
“On behalf of all Canadians, we want to congratulate Penny Pritzker on her confirmation as U.S. Commerce Secretary,” they said in a joint statement. “We are certain that Secretary Pritzker understands that with over $1.4 million in trade crossing the border every minute and millions of U.S. and Canadian jobs dependent on our bilateral trade and investment, we have a shared interest in continuing to strengthen our relationship.”
“We look forward to working with Secretary Pritzker to lower regulatory burdens and eliminate red tape and other trade barriers, while further deepening the Canada-U.S. relationship -- the greatest free trade success story in the world,” they added.