Acting Commerce Sec Blank to leave for academia

Acting U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank announced Monday she will leave the department to become the new chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Blank plans to step into her new leadership role in July. Before working in the federal government, she worked at the University of Michigan and Northwestern University.

Blank has been with Commerce since 2009, serving first as undersecretary for economic affairs, then as deputy secretary and acting secretary. Before joining Commerce, she served as a fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Statement by President Obama:


I want to thank Dr. Blank for her hard work and exceptional service on behalf of the American people. Over the past four years I have asked Becky to take on several roles at the Department of Commerce, and in each one she has distinguished herself as a steady leader and a vital member of my economic team.  A tireless advocate for American businesses, Becky has helped to increase our competitiveness, support our innovators and entrepreneurs, and bring good-paying jobs back to our shores. While I will be sad to see her go this summer, I want to wish her the best of luck in her exciting new role. I know the University of Wisconsin Badgers will have an outstanding chancellor for years to come.

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