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Obama to nominate John Bryson for Commerce secretary

May. 31, 2011 - 01:23PM   |  
By DAVID JACKSON   |   Comments
John Bryson is President Obama's nominee to lead the Commerce Department.
John Bryson is President Obama's nominee to lead the Commerce Department. (Brendan Smialowski / Getty Images)

President Obama will make a public appearance on Tuesday to nominate businessman John Bryson to head the Commerce Department.

Bryson "understands what it takes for America to succeed in a 21st century global economy," Obama said in a statement from the White House. "John will be an important part of my economic team, working with the business community, fostering growth, and helping open up new markets abroad to promote jobs and opportunities here at home."

If confirmed by the Senate, Bryson would replace Gary Locke, who is becoming ambassador to China.

Bryson, 67, has both business and environmental experience.

The Commerce Department nominee is the retired former chairman and CEO of Edison International, a California-based energy company. Bryson also co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council and is a member of a United Nation's advisory group on energy and climate change.

Bryson also sits on the board of directors of Boeing and the Walt Disney Company.

Another Obama official who once served on the Boeing board of directors: William Daley, the president's chief of staff and a former Commerce Secretary himself for President Bill Clinton.

Bryson's bio, as released by the White House:

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. He is chairman of the board of BrightSource Energy, the Public Policy Institute of California, and the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California Board of Overseers. He also serves as co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy.

Bryson is a trustee of the California Institute of Technology and a director of The California Endowment and the W. M. Keck Foundation. He serves on the Advisory Board of Deutsche Bank Americas. He also previously served on a number of educational and environmental boards, including as chairman of the California Business Roundtable, co-chairman of the Electric Drive Transportation Association, trustee of Stanford University, and as a member of the U.N. Secretary-General's Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change.

Mr. Bryson also served as president of the California Public Utilities Commission, chairman of the California State Water Resources Control Board, and on the board of the Council on Foreign Relations. At the start of his career, he was a co-founder and attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, a national and international environmental group. He is a graduate of Stanford University and Yale Law School.

David Jackson reports for USA Today.

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