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Meet John Bryson, the new U.S. Secretary of Commerce

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Last night the U.S. Senate confirmed John Bryson as the next U.S. Secretary of Commerce and he was sworn in today.

Before assuming his position as commerce secretary, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison and Edison Mission Group, for almost 18 years, where he led the company through times of both opportunities and crisis.  Bryson guided Edison through the California energy crisis of 2002 without going bankrupt, built a stronger company in the process and created jobs for American workers, while keeping the lights on for thousands of businesses and millions of families in California.

He was a director of The Boeing Company, The Walt Disney Company and Coda Automotive, Inc., and was a senior advisor to KKR.  He was also chairman of the board of BrightSource Energy, the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), and the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) Board of Overseers.  He also served as co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy (PCIP).

Mr. Bryson was a trustee of the California Institute of Technology and a director of The California Endowment and the W. M. Keck Foundation.  He served on the Advisory Board of Deutsche Bank Americas.  He also previously served on a number of educational and environmental boards, including as chairman of the California Business Roundtable, co-chairman of the Electric Drive Transportation Association (EDTA), trustee of Stanford University, and as a member of the U.N. Secretary-General’s Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change (AGECC).

The White House blog has quotes from individuals ranging from the COO of Facebook to the former Treasury Secretary John Snow to Mayors across the country supporting the nomination of John Bryson.  Commerce press release   |  White House statement

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John Bryson

Putting John Bryson in charge of the Commerce Department in the most incredibly disastrous thing ever. He was the orchestrator of one of the biggest ripoffs in the history of America. Californians were taken to the cleaners with the fake energy crisis spearheaded by Enron and all the other cronies. He should be able to rip off now the entire country. Way to go President Obama.

Comments of support

Mr. Bryson was supported by multiple people across the political spectrum.

U.S. Conference of Mayors: “Mr. Bryson brings a wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors that will help create jobs and make America more competitive in the global economy.” In a letter to Senators, the U.S. Conference of Mayors wrote: “Mr. Bryson brings a wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors that will help create jobs and make America more competitive in the global economy. Most importantly, he knows that the private sector is the engine for job creation. As local leaders, we know that John Bryson can encourage economic growth, help provide jobs for our residents, and forge a direct connection with Mayors and the needs of our cities. He knows how to get the job done with fewer resources. He knows how to manage and lead under pressure. He is the ideal candidate to become Commerce Secretary.”

Progress Energy: "I am confident that Mr. Bryson is the right leader for our country and the Department of Commerce.” Chairman, President and CEO of Progress Energy William D. Johnson said: “I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Bryson and believe that he is a very capable executive leader. He is level-headed, quick to listen and focused on achieving results through collaboration. Mr. Bryson’s life and career experiences provide an excellent foundation for navigating the diverse interests that await him in this new role. He enables people to develop a common goal despite their differences and pushes them to succeed together. In a time of uncertainty, we must have a leader that will unite us and chart a prosperous path forward for America. I am confident that Mr. Bryson is the right leader for our country and the Department of Commerce."

Edison Electric Institute (EEI): John Bryson “would bring the leadership that business nationwide would support and take the bold initiatives necessary to help to spur job growth and economic recovery.” President of EEI Thomas R. Kuhn said, “At a time when job creation and economic growth are critical to our nation’s well-being, Mr. Bryson’s long career in both the business and public sectors would make him an especially effective member of the Administration’s leadership team. Mr. Bryson’s leadership and mastery of the utility business enabled him to lead the industry at a time of diverse opinions and divergent business strategies within the industry. His ability to see all sides, to understand the practical realities and forge paths that brought unity to the industry and results in the public arena demonstrate the kind of leader he would be at the Commerce Department. As Commerce Secretary, I am confident that Mr. Bryson would bring the leadership that business nationwide would support and take the bold initiatives necessary to help to spur job growth and economic recovery.”