United States Secretary of Commerce

Secretary of Commerce of the United States
Seal of the Department of Commerce
Flag of the Secretary of Commerce
Incumbent
Wilbur L. Ross

since February 28, 2017
United States Department of Commerce
Style Mr. Secretary
Member of Cabinet
Reports to The President
Seat Washington, D.C.
Appointer The President
with Senate advice and consent
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 15 U.S.C. § 1501
Precursor Secretary of Commerce and Labor
Formation March 15, 1913 (1913-03-15)
First holder William Cox Redfield
Succession Tenth[1]
Deputy Deputy Secretary of Commerce
Salary Executive Schedule, level 1
Website www.commerce.gov

The United States Secretary of Commerce (SecCom) is the head of the United States Department of Commerce. The Secretary is appointed by the President of the United States with the advice and consent of the United States Senate and serves in the President's Cabinet. The Secretary is concerned with promoting American businesses and industries; the Department states its mission to be "to foster, promote, and develop the foreign and domestic commerce".[2]

Until 1913 there was one Secretary of Commerce and Labor, uniting this department with the Department of Labor, which is now headed by a separate Secretary of Labor.[3]

The current Commerce Secretary is Wilbur Ross, who was nominated by President Donald Trump and approved by the Senate on February 28, 2017.

List of Secretaries of Commerce

Parties

  No party (1)   Democratic (20)   Republican (18)

Status
  Denotes acting Commerce Secretary
No. Portrait Name State of Residence Took Office Left Office President(s)
1 William C. Redfield New York March 5, 1913 October 31, 1919 Woodrow Wilson
2 Joshua W. Alexander Missouri December 16, 1919 March 4, 1921
3 Herbert C. Hoover California March 5, 1921 August 21, 1928 Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
4 William F. Whiting Massachusetts August 22, 1928 March 4, 1929
5 Robert P. Lamont Illinois March 5, 1929 August 7, 1932 Herbert C. Hoover
6 Roy D. Chapin Michigan August 8, 1932 March 3, 1933
7 Daniel C. Roper South Carolina March 4, 1933 December 23, 1938 Franklin D. Roosevelt
8 Harry L. Hopkins New York December 24, 1938 September 18, 1940
9 Jesse H. Jones Texas September 19, 1940 March 1, 1945
10 Henry A. Wallace Iowa March 2, 1945 September 20, 1946
Harry S. Truman
Alfred Schindler
Acting
September 20, 1946 October 7, 1946
11 W. Averell Harriman New York October 7, 1946 April 22, 1948
12 Charles W. Sawyer Ohio May 6, 1948 January 20, 1953
13 Sinclair Weeks Massachusetts January 21, 1953 November 10, 1958 Dwight D. Eisenhower
Lewis L. Strauss
Acting
West Virginia November 13, 1958 June 30, 1959
14 Frederick H. Mueller Michigan June 30, 1959 August 10, 1959
August 10, 1959 January 19, 1961
15 Luther H. Hodges North Carolina January 21, 1961 January 15, 1965 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
16 John T. Connor New Jersey January 18, 1965 January 31, 1967
17 Alexander B. Trowbridge New York January 31, 1967 June 14, 1967
June 14, 1967 March 1, 1968
18 Cyrus R. Smith New York March 6, 1968 January 19, 1969
19 Maurice H. Stans New York January 21, 1969 February 15, 1972 Richard Nixon
20 Peter G. Peterson Illinois February 29, 1972 February 1, 1973
21 Frederick B. Dent South Carolina February 2, 1973 March 26, 1975
Gerald Ford
22 Rogers C. B. Morton Maryland May 1, 1975 February 2, 1976
23 Elliot L. Richardson Massachusetts February 2, 1976 January 20, 1977
24 Juanita M. Kreps North Carolina January 23, 1977 October 31, 1979 Jimmy Carter
Luther H. Hodges, Jr.
Acting
North Carolina October 31, 1979 January 9, 1980
25 Philip M. Klutznick Illinois January 9, 1980 January 20, 1981
26 Malcolm Baldrige Connecticut January 20, 1981 July 25, 1987 Ronald Reagan
Clarence J. Brown Jr.
Acting
Ohio July 25, 1987 October 19, 1987
27 C. William Verity, Jr. Ohio October 19, 1987 January 30, 1989
28 Robert A. Mosbacher Texas January 31, 1989 January 15, 1992 George H. W. Bush
Rockwell A. Schnabel
Acting
January 15, 1992 February 27, 1992
29 Barbara H. Franklin Pennsylvania February 27, 1992 January 20, 1993
30 Ronald H. Brown New York January 20, 1993 April 3, 1996 Bill Clinton
Mary L. Good
Acting
Texas April 3, 1996 April 12, 1996
31 Mickey Kantor Tennessee April 12, 1996 January 21, 1997
32 William M. Daley Illinois January 30, 1997 July 19, 2000
Robert L. Mallett
Acting
July 19, 2000 July 21, 2000
33 Norman Y. Mineta California July 21, 2000 January 20, 2001
34 Donald L. Evans Texas January 20, 2001 February 7, 2005 George W. Bush
35 Carlos M. Gutierrez Florida February 7, 2005 January 20, 2009
Otto J. Wolff
Acting
January 20, 2009 March 26, 2009 Barack Obama
36 Gary F. Locke Washington March 26, 2009 August 1, 2011
Rebecca M. Blank
Acting
Minnesota August 1, 2011 October 21, 2011
37 John E. Bryson New York October 21, 2011 June 11, 2012
Rebecca M. Blank
Acting
Minnesota June 11, 2012 June 1, 2013
Cameron Kerry
Acting
Massachusetts June 1, 2013 June 26, 2013
38 Penny Pritzker Illinois June 26, 2013 January 20, 2017
Vacant January 20, 2017 February 28, 2017 Donald Trump
39 Wilbur L. Ross Florida February 28, 2017 present

Source: Department of Commerce: Secretaries

Living former Secretaries of Commerce

As of August 2018, there are ten living former Secretaries of Commerce (with all Secretaries that have served since 1996 still living), the oldest being Frederick B. Dent (served 1973–1975, born 1922). The most recent Secretary of Commerce to die was Peter Peterson (served 1972–1973, born 1926), on March 20, 2018. The most recently serving Secretary to die was Ron Brown (1993–1996, born 1941), who died in office on April 3, 1996.

NameTerm of officeDate of birth (and age)
Frederick B. Dent 1973–1975 August 17, 1922
Barbara H. Franklin 1992–1993 March 4, 1940
Mickey Kantor 1996–1997 August 7, 1939
William M. Daley 1997–2000 August 9, 1948
Norman Mineta 2000–2001 November 12, 1931
Donald Evans 2001–2005 July 27, 1946
Carlos Gutierrez 2005–2009 November 4, 1953
Gary F. Locke 2009–2011 January 21, 1950
John Bryson 2011–2012 July 24, 1943
Penny Pritzker 2013–2017 May 2, 1959

Line of succession

The line of succession for the Secretary of Commerce is as follows:[4]

  1. Deputy Secretary of Commerce
  2. General Counsel of the Department of Commerce
  3. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade
  4. Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs
  5. Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology
  6. Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  7. Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration
  8. Chief Financial Officer of the Department of Commerce and Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Administration
  9. Boulder Laboratories Site Manager, National Institute of Standards and Technology

References

  1. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/3/19
  2. "US Department of Commerce, Directives Management Program". Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2007.
  3. "Milestones". U.S. Department of Commerce. Archived from the original on October 15, 2011. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  4. "Providing an Order of Succession Within the Department of Commerce". federalregister.gov. Retrieved 2016-10-29.
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Sonny Perdue
as Secretary of Agriculture
Order of Precedence of the United States
as Secretary of the Treasury
Succeeded by
Alex Acosta
as Secretary of Labor
Current U.S. presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Agriculture
Sonny Perdue
10th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Labor
Alex Acosta
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