CHICAGO-President Obama is close to selecting Chicago’s Penny Pritzker as his nominee for commerce secretary of the United States, a number of major news outlets are reporting.
Pritzker, who led Obama’s fundraising campaign for President in 2008, is the founder, chairman and CEO of Chicago-based PSP Capital Partners and its affiliate, Pritzker Realty Group (PRG), as well as co-founder and chairman of Artemis Real Estate Partners. Pritzker, 53, is a member of the Pritzker family that built the Hyatt Hotel chain.
If selected, she would replace Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank who took over for John Bryson who resigned in June 2012.
Pritzker has more than 25 years of experience in the real estate, hospitality, senior living, financial services and private equity industries. She developed Vi (formerly Classic Residence by Hyatt), a leader in luxury living for older adults, The Parking Spot, a large network of off-site airport parking facilities, and Centergate Residential, a vertically-integrated, multifamily development, investment and management company.
Shortly after his election in 2008, Pritzker’s name circulated as President Obama’s first choice for commerce secretary. She issued a statement at that time that made it clear she didn’t want the job.
Eric Schultz, a White House spokesman, declined to comment on Pritzker’s potential nomination. Pritzker’s spokeswoman didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment, according to a Bloomberg report.