WASHINGTON -- Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank, who has held the job since John Bryson resigned for medical reasons in June, is stepping down to become chancellor of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, she said Monday.
Blank told her staff in an email that she would leave sometime before July, when her new job begins.
"I expect to welcome a new secretary of Commerce before I leave," wrote Blank, a former dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. She told her employees it had been an honor to serve with them.
Obama praised Blank as a "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," Obama said Monday.
One of Obama's top campaign fundraisers, Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker, has been mentioned as a top candidate for the Commerce Department job. Blank's successor would be the fourth person to hold the Cabinet position since Obama took office.