Senate confirmation was reached Friday on three key U.S. Commerce Department posts.
Ellen Herbst was confirmed as Commerce assistant secretary for administration and chief financial officer.
She has served in the department since 2005, starting as director of the National Technical Information Service and then senior advisor to the deputy secretary of Commerce beginning in 2009. In her new role, Herbst’s responsibilities will include strategy, formulation, and execution of the department’s approximately $8 billion budget, leading the human resources management for more than 46,000 employees, and serving as chief acquisition officer for the procurement of over $2 billion in goods and services.
John Thompson was named director of the Census Bureau. He has worked in the bureau since the early 1970s.
“I am committed to ensuring that the Census Bureau has the resources it needs to continue supplying essential data to businesses and government leaders,” Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker in a statement.
The Senate approved the confirmation of Mark Schaefer as assistant secretary for oceans and atmosphere. Schaefer has spent more than 30 years handling issues central to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s mission, including fostering scientific and technological innovation, conserving natural resources, making scientific information more accessible to the public, and encouraging greater stakeholder engagement in policy decisions.
Due to an administrative oversight, Schaefer was confirmed by the Senate under the position’s former title, assistant secretary of oceans and atmosphere. He will assume the title of NOAA’s assistant secretary for conservation and management and will be responsible for policy and program areas ranging from ocean observations to protected resources. Kathryn Sullivan remains as NOAA’s acting administrator and acting Commerce undersecretary for oceans and atmosphere, the department said.