Business and Civic Leaders Support John Bryson for Commerce Secretary

President Obama Talks with Secretary Locke and John Bryson

President Barack Obama talks with Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and John Bryson in the Ground Floor Corridor of the Residence at the White House, May 31, 2011. The President nominated Bryson to replace Secretary Locke, who was nominated to serve as Ambassador to China. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

At a time when the nation is focused on jobs, we need a Commerce Secretary who knows American business - a leader who has led a company through crisis, created jobs and has a firsthand understanding of the challenges facing US companies.  And that's exactly the experience that President Obama's nominee John Bryson has. 

Bryson spent nearly two decades as the CEO of the California-based energy company Edison International and has served on the boards of some of America's top companies, including Disney and Boeing, and now, widely-respected business and civic leaders are pressing lawmakers to confirm this imminently qualified nominee. 

Individuals ranging from the COO of Facebook to the former Treasury Secretary John Snow to Mayors across the country support the nomination of John Bryson. 

Check out what some of these folks have to say about John Bryson:

Business Roundtable:  "John Bryson is a proven, well-respected executive who will bring his private sector experience to the Commerce Department’s broad portfolio."  “[The] Business Roundtable applauds President Obama’s nomination of John Bryson, a seasoned business leader, to be the next Secretary of Commerce. We fully support the President’s choice and urge swift Senate confirmation. John Bryson is a proven, well-respected executive who will bring his private sector experience to the Commerce Department’s broad portfolio that includes technology, trade, intellectual property and exports, which will be crucial to expanding the economy and creating jobs. We look forward to working with Bryson,” said Business Roundtable President John Engler. 

National Association of Manufacturers: Bryson Has “a strong business background…which gives him the advantage of having exposure to the difficult issues manufacturers face in today’s global marketplace.”  National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons said, “Mr. Bryson has a strong business background and serves on the board of many manufacturing companies, which gives him the advantage of having exposure to the difficult issues manufacturers face in today’s global marketplace.” 

Facebook: "John knows what it takes to promote job growth." Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said: “I applaud the President’s decision to nominate John as the next Commerce Secretary. With decades of experience in the public and private sectors, John knows what it takes to promote job growth, advance American goods and services and, most importantly, expand the markets for America’s next generation of entrepreneurs.” 

Edison International: “Mr. Bryson is a strong business leader, and particularly adept at bringing parties together to find solutions to complex issues that involve both business and government.” Theodore F. Craver Jr. CEO and chairman of Edison International said, “At a time when job creation and economic growth are critical to our nation’s well-being, Mr. Bryson’s distinguished career in both the business and public sectors would make him an especially effective member of the Administration’s leadership team. Mr. Bryson is a strong business leader, and particularly adept at bringing parties together to find solutions to complex issues that involve both business and government. [His] extensive history of international involvement and experience, through his leadership position at Edison International, associated work at the Edison Electric Institute, and as Chair of the Pacific Council on International Policy, make his leadership especially valuable at this time of worldwide economic stress. I believe Mr. Bryson is precisely the type of leader that our country needs at this time and strongly support his confirmation as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce." 

Former Senator George Mitchell: “John proved himself a thoughtful, results-driven leader… John knows business.” Senator Mitchell said, “I urge the Senate to confirm John Bryson as our next Secretary of Commerce. During our time together on the board of the Walt Disney Company, John proved himself a thoughtful, results-driven leader – exactly the kind of Commerce Secretary we need. I know he will work tirelessly to promote U.S. products and services abroad and leverage the agency’s tools to encourage innovation and job creation.  John knows business, and American companies will have an important advocate in the Cabinet with him at Commerce.” 

Boeing: “John Bryson’s global business experience and strong leadership skills are a great match for the position of Secretary Of Commerce.”  Boeing Chairman, President and CEO Jim McNerney said, “John Bryson’s global business experience and strong leadership skills are a great match for the position of Secretary of Commerce. All of us at Boeing wish him well as he steps into an important role for the nation at a critical time for our economy. We look forward to Senate confirmation of his appointment.” 

U.S. Conference of Mayors: “Mr. Bryson brings a wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors that will help create jobs and make America more competitive in the global economy.” In a letter to Senators, the U.S. Conference of Mayors wrote: “Mr. Bryson brings a wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors that will help create jobs and make America more competitive in the global economy. Most importantly, he knows that the private sector is the engine for job creation. As local leaders, we know that John Bryson can encourage economic growth, help provide jobs for our residents, and forge a direct connection with Mayors and the needs of our cities. He knows how to get the job done with fewer resources. He knows how to manage and lead under pressure. He is the ideal candidate to become Commerce Secretary.” 

Disney: Bryson “is a proven leader, with strong strategic vision and business savvy, along with a keen grasp of policy and its impact on the business environment.”  Disney president and CEO Robert Iger said, “John has been an incredibly valuable member of our Board, bringing experience and insight to complex issues.  He is a proven leader, with strong strategic vision and business savvy, along with a keen grasp of policy and its impact on the business environment.  It’s an ideal combination for a U.S. Commerce Secretary, one that bodes well for the country’s long-term economic growth and competitiveness.” 

Progress Energy: "I am confident that Mr. Bryson is the right leader for our country and the Department of Commerce.” Chairman, President and CEO of Progress Energy William D. Johnson said: “I have a great deal of respect for Mr. Bryson and believe that he is a very capable executive leader. He is level-headed, quick to listen and focused on achieving results through collaboration. Mr. Bryson’s life and career experiences provide an excellent foundation for navigating the diverse interests that await him in this new role. He enables people to develop a common goal despite their differences and pushes them to succeed together. In a time of uncertainty, we must have a leader that will unite us and chart a prosperous path forward for America. I am confident that Mr. Bryson is the right leader for our country and the Department of Commerce." 

John Snow, Former Treasury Secretary for President George W. Bush: John Bryson “brings a strong business background and a record of great balanced judgment to this demanding post.” Former Secretary Snow said: “John brings a strong business background and a record of great balanced judgment to this demanding post for which he is eminently qualified.  Having worked with him over the years in senior business councils, I have seen firsthand his thoughtful, fair-minded approach to the sort of complex issues he will face leading the Commerce Department.  The Obama Administration and the nation are fortunate to have such a qualified and able candidate to serve in this important Cabinet post.” 

U.S. Chamber Of Commerce: Bryson has “extensive knowledge of the private sector and years of experience successfully running a major company.”  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s President and CEO Thomas Donohue said, “With his extensive knowledge of the private sector and years of experience successfully running a major company, we hope Mr. Bryson will be a strong voice for American businesses.” 

Ken Duberstein, Boeing Board of Directors and Chief of Staff to President Ronald Reagan: "John Bryson is the right choice for advocating the initiatives that can expand the economy, encourage private sector jobs, ramp up exports and advocate the pro-growth policies the nation sorely needs" In an op-ed for Politico, Duberstein wrote: "With economic recovery slow and U.S. job creation flagging, America needs a strong and capable hand at the tiller of the Commerce Department. John Bryson, President Barack Obama’s nominee for secretary, is the right choice for advocating the initiatives that can expand the economy, encourage private sector jobs, ramp up exports and advocate the pro-growth policies the nation sorely needs." He added: “I know John Bryson well, having sat side by side with him for the past 14 years on the board of directors of the Boeing Company. Countless times throughout his service, I’ve watched as he’s helped develop the growth strategies for a hallmark U.S. company, which has successfully honed its product lines and its employment footprint in the middle of intense international competition.” 

Admiral James Watkins (Secretary of Energy for President George H. W. Bush and Chief of Naval Operations for President Reagan) and Charlie Curtis (Senior Adviser, Center for Strategic and International Studies):  John Bryson is " the right choice to run the Commerce Department and be the voice for America’s business community in President Obama’s Cabinet." In an op-ed written for McClatchy News Services Watkins and Curtis said: “We worked with John directly. …Here’s what we know: John is a sound leader, and he maintained Edison’s focus on delivering excellent customer service, while being a careful steward of shareholder investment. He’s the right choice to run the Commerce Department and be the voice for America’s business community in President Obama’s Cabinet.” 

Edison Electric Institute (EEI): John Bryson “would bring the leadership that business nationwide would support and take the bold initiatives necessary to help to spur job growth and economic recovery.” President of EEI Thomas R. Kuhn said, “At a time when job creation and economic growth are critical to our nation’s well-being, Mr. Bryson’s long career in both the business and public sectors would make him an especially effective member of the Administration’s leadership team. Mr. Bryson’s leadership and mastery of the utility business enabled him to lead the industry at a time of diverse opinions and divergent business strategies within the industry. His ability to see all sides, to understand the practical realities and forge paths that brought unity to the industry and results in the public arena demonstrate the kind of leader he would be at the Commerce Department. As Commerce Secretary, I am confident that Mr. Bryson would bring the leadership that business nationwide would support and take the bold initiatives necessary to help to spur job growth and economic recovery.” 

Dominion: “Bryson’s experience at the highest levels of American business makes him well suited for the job at precisely the right time.” President and CEO of Dominion Thomas F. Farrell, II said: “John Bryson is an excellent choice for Secretary of Commerce, and I strongly urge his confirmation by the full Senate. As the U.S. economy continues to struggle to regain its footing, American businesses need a fully engaged partner in the federal government.  The Secretary of Commerce should be a forceful advocate within the federal bureaucracy – advancing policies that encourage trade and investment by the private sector.  John Bryson’s experience at the highest levels of American business makes him well suited for the job at precisely the right time….He has proved to be a consensus builder who can move a large organization forward.  Those are skills critical to leading the U.S. Commerce Department.”

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