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John Bryson Sworn In as 37th Secretary of Commerce

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 21, 2011
CONTACT OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
202-482-4883

John Bryson was sworn in today as the nation’s 37th Commerce Secretary. Secretary Bryson will be a key member of President Obama’s economic team and will work to implement the administration’s top economic priority: accelerating job creation. He will work to strengthen the economic recovery and U.S. competitiveness, and serve as a voice for the business community in the president’s Cabinet.

“As Secretary of Commerce, John Bryson will be a key member of my economic team, working with the business community to promote job creation, foster growth and U.S. competitiveness, and help open up new markets around the world for American-made goods,” President Obama said in a statement.  “At such a critical time for our economy, I nominated John because I believe his decades of experience both in the public and private sector have given him a clear understanding of what it takes to put America on a stronger economic footing and create jobs.  I’m confident he will help us do that, and I look forward to working closely with him in the months and years ahead.”

This morning, the president designated former Acting U.S. Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank as Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce. 

“I’m honored to join President Obama and his leadership team at this critical moment in our nation’s history,” Bryson said. “We will work tirelessly at the Commerce Department and, in cooperation with our fellow federal agencies, to support the business community and foster an environment for the private sector to thrive and hire.”

Bryson will oversee an agency charged with helping make American businesses more innovative and successful at home and more competitive abroad. He will focus on achieving the President’s National Export Initiative goals of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014; implementing historic reform of the U.S. patent system; overseeing the President’s SelectUSA initiative to encourage more companies–American and foreign–to establish or expand U.S. operations to create more jobs for the American people; and, strengthening America’s manufacturing sector including the small- and medium-sized manufacturers that are the lifeblood of communities across the country.

Bryson will also lead the effort to foster new economic development clusters that take advantage of regional strengths; expand the country’s broadband infrastructure and effectively manage its spectrum as America gears up to build a national, interoperable wireless network for first responders; strengthen U.S. coastal communities and our weather and oceans science, promote sustainable fisheries and our fishing industry and support critical satellite programs; and, continue the effort to reform a Cold War-era export control system.

John Bryson was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as Secretary of Commerce on June 16, 2011. He has nearly three decades of business experience, serving as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison and Edison Mission Group, from 1990 to 2008. At Edison, he led the utility through the California energy crisis. As CEO, he created a competitive power subsidiary, the Mission Group, which expanded across the U.S and was a global leader in the privatization of power plants and electric systems in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, the Philippines and several European countries.

Bryson has served as a director on several public, educational and non-profit boards, including The Boeing Company, The Walt Disney Company and has served as an adviser and a director of entrepreneurial and start-up companies including Coda Automotive, Inc and BrightSource Energy. He was a senior adviser to the global investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR).

Mr. Bryson was chair of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) and a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees for the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). He served as chairman of the Board of Overseers for the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California (USC). Mr. Bryson was co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy (PCIP) and has served on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations and as chairman of the California Business Roundtable.

Prior to joining the private sector, Mr. Bryson served as president of the California Public Utilities Commission and chairman of the California State Water Resources Control Board. Before joining Edison, Mr. Bryson was a partner in the law firm of Morrison and Foerster. Shortly after earning his J.D. from Yale law school, he and some classmates received a grant from the Ford Foundation to form the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1971.

Mr. Bryson is a graduate of Stanford University. He and his wife Louise have four daughters.