President Barack Obama chose two old friends with corporate executive experience Thursday for top posts on his economic team, naming longtime fundraiser Penny Pritzker as Commerce secretary and adviser Michael Froman as U.S. trade representative.
Pritzker, a Hyatt hotel heiress, businesswoman and philanthropist, is Obama’s choice to fill a Cabinet post that has been vacant since former Secretary John Bryson resigned last summer, after he said he suffered a seizure that led to a series of traffic collisions.
Froman is one of Obama’s law-school classmates and senior economic advisers who previously worked as an executive at Citigroup. The Cabinet-level trade representative performs as the administration’s top adviser and negotiator on international trade. If confirmed by the Senate, Froman would replace Ron Kirk, a former Dallas mayor who stepped down as trade representative in February after serving in the post throughout Obama’s first term.