John Bryson steps down as U.S. Commerce Secretary

By Alex Veeneman on June 21, 2012

John Bryson, the Commerce Secretary, who announced he is stepping down from the role in light of a seizure earlier this month.
(Photo courtesy of the federal government)

The Commerce Secretary John Bryson has resigned his position, after Bryson announced that he had been taking a medical leave of absence from the position after suffering a seizure earlier this year in Los Angeles.

In a letter to President Obama confirming his intention of resignation, Bryson expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to serve, but decided that because of his health and the distraction it would cause examining the economic issues currently affecting the country that he were to step down. “I have concluded that the seizure I suffered on June 9th could be a distraction from my performance as Secretary and that our country would be better served by a change in leadership of the Department,” Bryson wrote according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

In a statement, President Obama thanked Bryson for his service. “John has proven himself an effective and distinguished leader throughout his career in both the public and private sectors, from his success in the business world to his work leading on issues in the renewable energy industry,” Obama said in a statement obtained by NPR. “I am grateful that he brought that invaluable experience and expertise to my administration, and am pleased that he has agreed to continue supporting our efforts to strengthen the economy and create good jobs by serving as a member of my Export Council going forward.”

Rebecca Blank, the Commerce Department’s Deputy Secretary, is to succeed Bryson in his role as Secretary of Commerce. “I am confident that [she] will serve the American people well as Acting Secretary and that the Commerce Department staff will continue their tireless work putting forward policies that help our workers and businesses compete,” Obama added in a statement.

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