Rebecca M. Blank was the Acting Secretary of Commerce and Deputy Secretary of Commerce. She assumed the role of Acting Secretary in June, 2012 when Secretary John Bryson resigned following a medical leave of absence.
Dr. Blank was confirmed as the Deputy Secretary of Commerce in March 2012, after serving as the Acting Deputy Secretary for most of the previous year. Dr. Blank has served once before as the Acting Secretary of Commerce from August through October 2011, between the end of Secretary Gary Locke’s tenure and the beginning of Secretary John Bryson’s term.
As Acting Secretary of Commerce, Dr. Blank was a key member of President Obama’s economic team working to implement the administration’s top economic priorities to increase economic growth and accelerate job creation. Dr. Blank led the Department’s efforts to strengthen U.S. competitiveness, helping make American businesses more innovative and successful at home and more competitive abroad, and to create good-paying jobs. In her role as Deputy Secretary, Dr. Blank also functioned as Commerce’s chief operating officer, overseeing issues of management, policy and strategic planning for the department’s 12 bureaus.
Dr. Blank has served in the Department of Commerce since June 2009, when she was appointed as the principal economic adviser to the Secretary in the role of Under Secretary for Economic Affairs and head of the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA).
Prior to arriving at Commerce, Dr. Blank was the Robert S. Kerr Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and dean of the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan (UM), where she implemented a major expansion of its faculty and programs. She also served as co-director of UM’s National Poverty Center.
From 1997-1999, Dr. Blank was one of three members of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, participating in White House decision-making on a host of economic, social and regulatory policy issues. Prior to her work with the Clinton administration, she was a Professor of Economics at Northwestern University and Director of the Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
A native of Missouri, Dr. Blank is a summa cum laude graduate in economics from the University of Minnesota and holds a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Former Acting Secretary Rebecca Blank's Posts
- March 7, 2013 at 11:45 AM EST
President Obama's commonsense plan for immigration reform will help businesses attract and retain a skilled workforce, including foreign graduate students come to the U.S. and study areas like science, technology, engineering and mathematics and entrepreneurs who want to build their businesses in the U.S. and hire Americans to work in them.
- December 13, 2012 at 1:48 PM EST
Monster recently signed up to participate in the Joining Forces effort to help hire or train 250,000 veterans and military spouses by the end of 2014
- August 28, 2012 at 4:28 PM EST
The U.S. Commerce Department’s SelectUSA initiative discusses insourcing.
- August 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM EST
At the American Economic Competitiveness Forum on Manufacturing, the Acting Commerce Secretary met with business owners to learn how the Obama Administration can continue to support them as they build things here and sell them everywhere
- August 3, 2012 at 4:27 PM EST
Travel and tourism continues to be a bright spot in America's economic growth
- July 23, 2012 at 5:53 PM EST
A globally competitive economy requires a globally competitive workforce: Over the past decade, growth in STEM jobs was three times as fast as non-STEM jobs, and these jobs pay about 25 percent more than others. That’s why this Administration is focused on increasing the number of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates.
- July 13, 2012 at 3:55 PM EST
The tourism industry is on pace for a record-setting year -- with international visitors thus far spending more than $68 billion in the United States.
- May 23, 2012 at 10:18 AM EST
Yesterday's U.S. Census Bureau report shows that not only was the 2010 Census delivered on time and significantly under budget – but even more important, it was extremely accurate.
- March 2, 2012 at 12:34 PM EST
This is one more important step toward enabling us to build more products here and sell them everywhere around the globe
- February 23, 2012 at 3:49 PM EST
Increasing efficiency and cutting administrative costs is an important and achievable goal in government, and this contract leverages the large volume of computers that Commerce purchases each year and standardizes specifications to achieve significant cost reductions