Former Ford School Dean Rebecca Blank named Acting Deputy Secretary of Commerce
The U.S. Commerce Department announced today that Rebecca Blank, currently the Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, will become its Acting Deputy Secretary. In her new, temporary role, she will focus on matters of management and policy for the department's 12 bureaus, functioning as Commerce's chief operating officer.
Blank has served Commerce Secretary Gary Locke since June 2009 as his principal economic advisor and the head of the Economics and Statistics Administration (ESA), which oversees the two premier statistical agencies in the United States, the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
Since being sworn in at ESA, Blank has played an important role overseeing a decennial Census operation that completed its work on time and under budget - netting $1.6 billion in 2010 savings. Within ESA, she has supervised a staff of economists and policy analysts who produce a wide variety of reports and forecasts that help develop and assess domestic and international policy.
Prior to arriving at Commerce, Blank was the Robert S. Kerr Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. She was dean of the Ford School from 1999 to 2007 and led a major expansion of our faculty, programs, and facilities. She also served as co-director of the National Poverty Center.