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Message from the 19th Deputy Secretary of Commerce, Don Graves

Hello everyone. My name is Don Graves, and I’m so excited to serve as Deputy Secretary of Commerce.

I come from a long line of small business owners, including ones who ran a horse and buggy taxi service on the land where the Department of Commerce sits today, and their son who owned and operated the only African American-owned hotel in the mid to late 1800s, just a few short blocks away. Throughout my life, I have had the good fortune of meeting Americans from all walks of life and geographies, pursuing dreams for themselves and their families.

But for far too many people, particularly people of color and those with limited means, a chance to attain their American dream or even start and grow a business is still too difficult. The COVID 19 pandemic has only heightened the inequities within our country.

My career, in government, the private sector, and nonprofits, has been dedicated to ensuring that economic opportunity is inclusive and broad-based, supporting working families and strengthening the communities in which they live.

At the Department of Commerce, our mission is rooted in helping American workers and businesses thrive, and I'm excited to serve as the 19th Deputy Secretary of Commerce. I will work closely with Secretary Raimondo to ensure that we not only build back better, but we build back equitably.

I want to take the opportunity to thank the staff at the Department of Commerce, who work tirelessly to serve the American people. The work they do is essential, and I'm honored to be serving alongside these extraordinary public servants.

I am reminded by President Biden that service is not about those of us who serve, but rather it is about the American People we serve.

We must continue to revive the economy and advance racial equity and combat systemic racism across the board, as we meet the existential threat of climate change with American Jobs and Ingenuity.

And we must remain committed to spending the time to really understand what they are going through, to learn of their hopes and dreams, and to know they aren't looking for us to solve everything, but to level the playing field here and across the globe and provide the opportunities they need to succeed and live lives of dignity and respect.

That’s the charge of the President and this entire Administration – to work for all of you.

Advancing the critical work that lies ahead requires the hard work of all of us, and as the 19th Deputy Secretary of Commerce, I'm ready to get to work!