John Kerry’s brother, Cameron, to be acting Commerce secretary

WASHINGTON -- Cameron Kerry will serve as acting Commerce secretary starting June 1, joining his brother, Secretary of State John Kerry, in President Obama’s Cabinet.

Cameron Kerry, who has been general counsel at the Commerce Department since 2009, will take over after the current acting secretary, Rebecca Blank, steps down at the end of the month, she told her staff in an email Monday.

Kerry would hold the job while Obama’s nominee for the job, Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker, awaits Senate confirmation.


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Obama announced on May 2 his nomination of Pritzker to the position, whose occupant serves as the administration’s chief liaison to the business community and an ambassador for U.S. business interests abroad.

Cameron Kerry has worked on patent reform, intellectual property issues, data security and consumer privacy since joining the Commerce Department from the Boston law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo.

“Cam has been at the Department of Commerce since 2009 and has worked on all aspects of the department’s mission in his role as general counsel,” Blank said in her email.

She also announced that Patrick Gallagher, the undersecretary for standards and technology, would serve as acting deputy secretary.

Blank has been acting Commerce head since June, when former Edison International Chief Executive John Bryson resigned from the post for medical reasons.

Blank is leaving to be chancellor of the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Kerry temporarily joins his brother as what appear to be the first set of brothers to serve in a presidential cabinet. President John F. Kennedy’s cabinet included his brother, Robert, who was attorney general.

Cameron Kerry was a senior advisor on the 2004 presidential campaign of his brother, who was the Democratic nominee. John Kerry became secretary of State in February after 28 years as a senator from Massachusetts.


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