On May 31st, 2011, President Barak Obama officially nominated Mr. John Bryson to succeed Gary Locke as Secretary of Commerce. John Bryson was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison and Edison Mission Group, from 1990 to 2008. He is a director of The Boeing Company, The Walt Disney Company and Coda Automotive, Inc. and is a senior advisor to KKR among his many other roles in the private sector.
Stepping into Commerce, Bryson will be charged with continuing to further President Obama's agenda on the issues of trade, economic development, and job creation. Trade is a particularly important issue at this time as the United States Senate will consider free trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama in the future opening up new markets for U.S. goods. During his recent confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Mr. Bryson also made clear his mission work with the private sector to create jobs. “The private sector is where the jobs need to be developed. We have to address that,” Bryson said.
In addition to Mr. Bryson's nomination to lead Commerce, President Obama has also nominated Terry Garcia to the post of Deputy Secretary. Mr. Garcia is currently Executive Vice President for Mission Programs at the National Geographic Society. In that role, he is responsible for the annual management of more than 400 scientific, conservation and exploration projects. This will also be his second stint at Commerce as he was previously Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Deputy Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the U.S. Department of Commerce under the Clinton Administration. Mr. Garcia is also a former General Counsel for NOAA.