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United States Secretary of Commerce

The Commerce Secretary's office as it looked in the mid-20th century.
The Commerce Secretary's office as it looked in the mid-20th century.
The United States Secretary of Commerce is the head of the United States Department of Commerce concerned with business and industry; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce".[1] Until 1913 there was one Secretary of Commerce and Labor, uniting this department with the Department of Labor, which is now headed by a separate Secretary of Labor.[2]

The Office of the Secretary contains a Deputy Secretary of Commerce, a Chief of Staff, a Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, an Assistant Secretary for Commerce and Intergovernmental Affairs, a Chief Financial Officer and Assistant Secretary for Administration, a Chief Information Officer, a General Counsel, an Inspector General, an Office of Business Liaison, an Office of Policy and Strategic Planning, an Office of Public Affairs, an Office of White House Liaison, and an International IPR Enforcement Coordinator.[3]

Gary Locke, former Commerce Secretary resigned on August 11, 2011, to become the United States Ambassador to China.

On May 31, 2011, President Obama nominated John E. Bryson to be U.S. Secretary of Commerce. He was sworn in as the 37th United States Secretary of Commerce on October 21, 2011. On June 11, 2012, Bryson announced in a memo that he was taking a medical leave of absence. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank will serve as Acting Secretary of Commerce until he returns.[4]

The line of succession for the Secretary of Commerce is as follows:[5]

  1. Deputy Secretary of Commerce
  2. General Counsel of the Department of Commerce
  3. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade
  4. Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs
  5. Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  6. Under Secretary of Commerce for Technology
  7. Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration
  8. Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Commerce and Assistant Secretary of Commerce in charge of Administration
  9. Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs


List of Secretaries of Commerce



No. Portrait Name State of Residence Took Office Left Office President(s)
William C. Redfield New York March 5, 1913 October 31, 1919 Woodrow Wilson
Joshua W. Alexander Missouri December 16, 1919 March 4, 1921
Herbert Hoover California March 5, 1921 August 21, 1928 Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
William F. Whiting Massachusetts August 22, 1928 March 4, 1929
Robert P. Lamont Illinois March 5, 1929 August 7, 1932 Herbert Hoover
Roy D. Chapin Michigan August 8, 1932 March 3, 1933
Daniel C. Roper South Carolina March 4, 1933 December 23, 1938 Franklin Roosevelt
Harry Hopkins New York December 24, 1938 September 18, 1940
Jesse H. Jones Texas September 19, 1940 March 1, 1945
Henry A. Wallace Iowa March 2, 1945 September 20, 1946
Harry S. Truman
Alfred Schindler September 20, 1946 October 7, 1946
75px W. Averell Harriman New York October 7, 1946 April 22, 1948
Charles W. Sawyer Ohio May 6, 1948 January 20, 1953
Sinclair Weeks Massachusetts January 21, 1953 November 10, 1958 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lewis Strauss West Virginia November 13, 1958 June 30, 1959
Frederick H. Mueller Michigan June 30, 1959 August 10, 1959
August 10, 1959 January 19, 1961
Luther H. Hodges North Carolina January 21, 1961 January 15, 1965 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon Johnson
John T. Connor New York January 18, 1965 January 31, 1967
Alexander Trowbridge New York January 31, 1967 June 14, 1967
June 14, 1967 March 1, 1968
C. R. Smith Texas March 6, 1968 January 19, 1969
Maurice Stans New York January 21, 1969 February 15, 1972 Richard Nixon
Peter Peterson Illinois February 29, 1972 February 1, 1973
Frederick B. Dent South Carolina February 2, 1973 March 26, 1975
Gerald Ford
Rogers Morton Maryland May 1, 1975 February 2, 1976
Elliot Richardson Massachusetts February 2, 1976 January 20, 1977
Juanita M. Kreps Kentucky January 23, 1977 October 31, 1979 Jimmy Carter
Luther H. Hodges, Jr. North Carolina October 31, 1979 January 9, 1980
Philip Klutznick Illinois January 9, 1980 January 20, 1981
Howard M. Baldrige, Jr. Nebraska January 20, 1981 July 25, 1987 Ronald Reagan
Clarence J. Brown Jr. Ohio July 25, 1987 October 19, 1987
William Verity, Jr. Ohio October 19, 1987 January 30, 1989
Robert Mosbacher Texas January 31, 1989 January 15, 1992 George H. W. Bush
Rockwell A. Schnabel January 15, 1992 February 27, 1992
Barbara Franklin Pennsylvania February 27, 1992 January 20, 1993
Ron Brown New York January 22, 1993 April 3, 1996 Bill Clinton
Mickey Kantor Tennessee April 12, 1996 January 21, 1997
William M. Daley Illinois January 30, 1997 July 19, 2000
Robert L. Mallett July 19, 2000 July 21, 2000
Norman Mineta California July 21, 2000 January 19, 2001
Donald Evans Texas January 20, 2001 February 7, 2005 George W. Bush
75px Carlos Gutierrez Florida February 7, 2005 January 20, 2009
Otto J. Wolff January 20, 2009 March 26, 2009 Barack Obama
75px Gary Locke Washington March 26, 2009 August 1, 2011
Rebecca Blank Minnesota August 1, 2011 October 21, 2011
75px John Bryson New York October 21, 2011 June 11, 2012
Rebecca Blank Minnesota June 11, 2012 Incumbent

Source: Department of Commerce: Secretaries

Acting Secretaries of Commerce

Image:Lewis Lichtenstein Strauss pers0164.jpg|Lewis Strauss Image:MallettRobert.jpg|Robert L. Mallett Image:WolffOtto-c.jpg|Otto J. Wolff Image:U_s_blank_official_photo-191x235.jpg|Rebecca Blank

Living former Secretaries of Commerce

See also


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