John Bryson to be Named Commerce Secretary, Out Gay Option Passed Over

Today, the White House announced John Bryson as the president’s pick to succeed Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, recently named as Obama’s next ambassador to China.

In a news release that preceded the 1:15 p.m. announcement, the White House stated that “Bryson will play a key role as a member of the President’s economic team, bringing decades of knowledge and experience in the public and private sectors, and will provide valuable ideas and initiatives to strengthen America’s competiveness around the world.”

Earlier, Politico’s Ben White had reported that Export-Import Bank Chairman Fred Hochberg was a “top candidate” for the job. Hochberg is one of the most senior out gay people in an administration that many advocates had hoped would include the first out gay cabinet secretary.

In today’s release, President Barack Obama said, “I am pleased to nominate John Bryson to be our nation’s Secretary of Commerce, as he understands what it takes for America to succeed in a 21st century global economy. 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.”

More on Bryson, from the release:

Previously, 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 (PPIC), and the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) Board of Overseers.  He also serves as co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy (PCIP).

Mr. 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.

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