|37th United States Secretary of Commerce|
October 21, 2011 – June 21, 2012
|Preceded by||Rebecca Blank (Acting)|
|Succeeded by||Rebecca Blank (Acting)|
July 24, 1943|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Political party||Democratic Party|
Yale Law School
John E. Bryson (born July 24, 1943) is the former United States Secretary of Commerce, the 37th person to hold the post since its establishment in 1913. Prior to this, he served as the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of Edison International, the parent company of Southern California Edison and as director of The Boeing Company.
The Senate confirmed Bryson as Secretary of Commerce by a 74–26 vote on October 20, 2011. He was sworn in on October 21, 2011. Bryson took a leave of absence in June 2012 for medical tests due to seizures that were related to a hit and run. On June 21, 2012 Bryson resigned because, "the work that [Commerce employees] do to help America’s entrepreneurs and businesses build our economy and create jobs is more important now than ever and I have come to the conclusion that I need to step down to prevent distractions from this critical mission."
Early life and education
Bryson's father operated a sawmill. He graduated from Cleveland High School in Portland, Oregon, in 1961. He received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University in 1965 and his Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Yale Law School in 1969.
In 1970, with other recent Yale Law graduates, Bryson helped found and served as legal counsel for the Natural Resources Defense Council. From 1976 to 1979, Bryson served as chairman of the California State Water Resources Control Board, and from 1979 to 1982, he served as president of the California Public Utilities Commission. In 1983 Bryson worked for the law firm of Morrison and Foerster in the San Francisco office. Bryson joined Edison International in 1984, and served as director from 1990 until his retirement on July 31, 2008.
Bryson was a director of The Boeing Company, W. M. Keck Foundation, and The Walt Disney Company, and a former Director/Trustee for three Western Asset Management funds at Legg Mason. He serves or has served on a number of educational, environmental and other nonprofit boards, including chairman of the California Business Roundtable, a trustee of Stanford University, a trustee of California Institute of Technology, co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy, and chairman of the Public Policy Institute of California.
Secretary of Commerce
On May 31, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Bryson to succeed Gary Locke as the United States Secretary of Commerce. Citing Bryson's environmental views, United States Senator James Inhofe, a Republican from Oklahoma, put a hold on his nomination in July. The Senate later reached a unanimous consent agreement to vote on Bryson's nomination, and the Senate confirmed Bryson by a 74–26 vote on October 20, 2011. He was sworn in on October 21, 2011, becoming the 37th Secretary of the Department of Commerce.
As Secretary of Commerce, Bryson co-chaired the White House Office of Manufacturing Policy with Gene Sperling.
2012 traffic accidents and resignation
On June 9, 2012, Bryson was involved in a pair of car crashes in San Gabriel, California and Rosemead, California, which were investigated as possible felony hit and run. He is said to have been found unconscious at the site of the second crash. A Department of Commerce spokesperson confirmed he was involved in a crash, and said Bryson had suffered from a seizure. Los Angeles County prosecutors announced on July 3, 2012, that no criminal charges would be pursued.
On June 11, Bryson announced in a memo that he was taking a medical leave of absence. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Rebecca Blank began serving as Acting Secretary of Commerce.
Bryson joined the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars as a Distinguished Senior Public Policy Scholar in October 2012.
- John E. Bryson 1943-, Reference for Business', Encyclopedia of Business 2nd edition
- All 51 Democratic Senators and both independents voted for confirmation, but the Republican caucus split 21-26 against. See Template:Obama confirmations, 2010, U.S. Senate roll call no. 176 (112th Cong. 1st session) or Washington Post votes database (112th Congress, 1st session, vote 176)
- "Letter from Secretary Bryson to Commerce Employees". Retrieved 21 June 2012.
- Gold, Scott; Mather, Kate; Blankstein, Andrew (June 11, 2012). "Commerce Secretary Bryson faces tests after hit-and-runs". Los Angeles Times.
- Pope, Charles (May 31, 2011). "John Bryson brings Portland roots as nominee to lead Commerce Department". The Oregonian. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
- Ex-Environment Activist Will Take Helm at Edison, Larry B. Stammer, Michael Parrish, Times staff writers, Los Angeles Times, October 1, 1990
- Edison International Chairman John E. Bryson to Deliver UCLA Anderson Commencement Address, June 16, UCLA Anderson, May 16, 2006
- Schiffman, Betsy. "John Bryson: Green At Heart, Greener In The Wallet". Forbes.
- John E. Bryson, Edison International
- John E. Bryson, Bloomberg Businessweek
- John E. Bryson, Public Policy Institute of California
- Obama makes it official, Alexander Mooney, CNN, May 31, 2011
- Senator vows to block Commerce nominee Bryson
- Press Release, John Bryson Sworn In as 37th Secretary of Commerce
- "John Bryson will co-chair White House's manufacturing policy office".
- "Hit and Run Traffic Collision Investigation Involving U.S. Secretary of Commerce". Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department/San Gabriel Police Department. June 10, 2012.
- Brian Day (June 10, 2012). "Breaking: U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson suspected of felony hit-and-run following San Gabriel Valley crashes". Pasadena Star-News. Archived from the original on June 11, 2012.
- "Commerce Secretary John Bryson accused in hit-and-run crashes". Los Angeles Times. June 11, 2012.
- Heavey, Susan (June 11, 2012). "U.S. Commerce secretary investigated for hit-and-run car crash". Reuters.
- "Commerce agency: Secretary John Bryson had seizure linked to crashes". The Los Angeles Times. June 11, 2012. Retrieved June 11, 2012.
- Faturechi, Robert; Blankstein, Andrew (July 4, 2012). "John Bryson, former Commerce secretary, won't be charged in hit-runs". Los Angeles Times.
- "White House: Bryson to take medical leave". USA Today. June 11, 2012. Retrieved 11 June 2012.
- O'Keefe, Ed (June 21, 2012). "John Bryson resigns as commerce secretary, citing recent seizure". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 21, 2012.
- Wilson Center (2012). Secretary John Bryson Joins Wilson Center. Retrieved 7 October 2012.
- "L.A. Now". Los Angeles Times. June 11, 2012.
- Profile at Bloomberg Businessweek
- Profile at Forbes
- Profile at The Walt Disney Company
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Works by or about John Bryson in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- John Bryson is the Right Man at the Right Time to Lead Commerce Department, Frances Beinecke, President of NRDC, May 31, 2011
- Secretary of Commerce
|President of the Public Utilities Commission of California
| Succeeded by|
|Chief Executive Officer of Edison International
| Succeeded by|
|Non-profit organization positions|
|Chairperson of Pacific Council on International Policy
Served alongside: Robert Tuttle
| Succeeded by|
|United States Secretary of Commerce
| Succeeded by|
| Succeeded by|