Pritzker Becomes New Secretary of Commerce, Foxx Confirmed for Transportation

Pritzker Becomes New Secretary of Commerce, Foxx Confirmed for Transportation

The new Secretaries of Commerce and Transportation have been confirmed by the Senate and Penny Pritzker, the new Secretary of Commerce, was sworn into office yesterday.

Pritzker, 54, was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday.  A Chicago businesswoman whose father was co-founder of Hyatt Hotels, she was a key figure in President Obama’s presidential election campaigns.  The Department of Commerce (DOC) is the parent of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), which operates the nation’s weather satellites. DOC is also responsible for two other important aspects of space actitivites:  federal government use of the electromagnetic spectrum and dual-use export controls.  Formally, Pritzker succeeds John Bryson, who resigned in June 2012.   Rebecca Blank served as Acting Secretary from then until last month.   Pritzker was confirmed by a nearly unanimous vote of 97-1.   The no vote was cast by Sen. Bernard Sanders (I-VT). 

Penny Pritzker.  Photo Credit: White House

Anthony Foxx, 42, was confirmed by the Senate this morning as the new Secretary of Transportation.   The former mayor of Charlotte, N.C. — home of the 2012 Democratic National Convention — received a unanimous vote.   He succeeds Ray LaHood.  The Department of Transportation is the parent of the Federal Aviation Administration and its Office of Commercial Space Transportation, which facilitates and regulates the commercial space launch services industry.

Anthony Foxx.   Photo Credit:  Andrew Harrer-Bloomberg News, via

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