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Statements from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on the Confirmation of Four Key Department Officials

Statement

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Date:
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Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker issued the following statements on the confirmation of four key U.S. Commerce Department officials, including: Ellen Herbst, Assistant Secretary for Administration and Chief Financial Officer; John Thompson, Director of the U.S. Census Bureau; Margaret Cummisky, Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs; and Dr. Mark Schaefer, Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere.

Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on the Confirmation of Ellen Herbst as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration and Chief Financial Officer:

"I am thrilled that the U.S. Senate has confirmed Ellen Herbst as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration and Chief Financial Officer (CFO). Ellen has served the Department of Commerce since 2005, starting as Director of the National Technical Information Service and then as Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of Commerce beginning in 2009. Among other achievements, she has helped successfully guide the Department through many management challenges, including efforts to save taxpayer dollars through administrative savings and organizational efficiencies and implementing sequestration. In today's budget climate, it is crucial that we have leaders like Ellen dedicated to making government work as efficiently and effectively as possible.

As Assistant Secretary for Administration and CFO, Ellen's responsibilities will include strategy, formulation, and execution of the Department's approximately $8 billion budget, leading the Human Resources management for more than 46,000 employees, and serving as Chief Acquisition Officer for the procurement of over $2 billion in goods and services. She will also direct the Department's financial controls and reporting, facilities and other administrative services, privacy and open government functions, program evaluation and risk management, and more. Ellen's experience here at Commerce and in private sector management make her uniquely qualified to assume this important role."

Statement by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on the Confirmation of John Thompson as the U.S. Census Bureau Director:

"I congratulate John Thompson on his confirmation as director of the U.S. Census Bureau, and thank the U.S. Senate for confirming him quickly. Given his previous roles at the Census Bureau beginning in the 1970s, I have full confidence that Mr. Thompson will be a tremendous leader of one of the nation's premier statistical agencies.

The Census Bureau produces a wealth of data that are critical to America's public and private sector leaders as they make decisions about economic development that will create jobs. I am committed to ensuring that the Census Bureau has the resources it needs to continue supplying essential data to businesses and government leaders. I look forward to working with John Thompson and his team as they undertake the years of preparations required for a successful 2020 Census and continue to develop innovative ways to produce and distribute vital information."

Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on the Confirmation of Margaret Cummisky as Assistant Secretary for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs:

"I am pleased that the U.S. Senate has confirmed Margaret Cummisky as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs. In that role, Ms. Cummisky will serve as my principal advisor on all matters before Congress, including managing the Department's relationships with its 19 congressional committees of jurisdiction across the Department's 12 bureaus. In addition, she will be responsible for overseeing the Department's outreach to the nation's governors and mayors, which is critical to our efforts to help support business growth and innovation nationwide. Ms. Cummisky is a Capitol Hill veteran, having served in numerous, diverse positions for more than 25 years. I have no doubt that she will be a great asset to the Department as we work with Congress and lawmakers at all levels on our priorities to help American businesses, create jobs and grow the economy."

Statement from U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker on the Confirmation of Dr. Mark Schaefer as Assistant Secretary for Oceans and Atmosphere:

"I am glad that the U.S. Senate has quickly confirmed Dr. Mark Schaefer as Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). From daily weather forecasts, severe storm warnings, and climate monitoring, to fisheries management, coastal restoration and supporting marine commerce, NOAA's work touches the lives of every American.

Dr. Schaefer has spent more than 30 years handling issues central to NOAA's mission, including fostering scientific and technological innovation, conserving natural resources, making scientific information more accessible to the public, and encouraging greater stakeholder engagement in policy decisions. Dr. Schaefer will be an integral part of a team that is committed to protecting ocean and coastal habitats and resources."

On background:

Due to an administrative oversight, Dr. Schaefer was confirmed by the Senate under the position's former title, Assistant Secretary of Oceans and Atmosphere. He will assume the title of NOAA's Assistant Secretary for Conservation and Management and will be responsible for policy and program areas ranging from ocean observations to protected resources. Dr. Kathryn Sullivan remains as NOAA's Acting Administrator and Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere.


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