The acting commerce secretary, Rebecca Blank, will leave her post in July to become chancellor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
The top job at commerce has been snakebit for President Obama, dating to the days before his first term. Obama’s first two choices for the position, former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson (D) and former New Hampshire governor Judd Gregg (R), both pulled out before the Senate could vote on them.
His eventual secretary, Gary Locke, left in 2011 to become ambassador to China. John Bryson took over but suffered a seizure in June and stepped down, leaving Blank as acting secretary. Obama has not yet nominated anyone to replace Bryson, who lasted less than a year in the job.
In a statement, Obama said Blank “has distinguished herself as a steady leader and 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.”