Obama selects Pritzker for Commerce Secretary

6:28 AM, May 2, 2013   |    comments
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(USATODAY.com) - President Obama plans to fill out his economic team on Thursday, nominating long-time supporters for the jobs of Commerce Secretary and U.S. trade representative.

Obama will nominate Chicago business executivePenny Pritzker for Commerce Secretary, and economic adviser Mike Froman for trade representative, administration officials said.

The Senate must confirm both nominees.

Two administration officials confirmed the nominations, speaking on condition of anonymity so as not to pre-empt Obama's formal announcement Thursday morning.

Pritzker, a major fundraiser for Obama's presidential campaigns, is on the board of Hyatt Hotels Corp. Her personal fortune is estimated at $1.85 billion, and she is listed among the 300 wealthiest Americans by Forbes magazine.

The Commerce Secretary slot has been vacant since the summer, when John Bryson resigned amid health concerns.

Froman is a long-time friend of Obama -- they worked together on the Harvard Law Review -- and has helped Obama prepare for more than a dozen international economic summits while working on the president's staff.

If confirmed by the Senate, Froman who replace Ron Kirk, who left the trade post earlier this year.

Obama will announce the nominations before departing on a three-day business trip to Mexico and Costa Rica.

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