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Cabinet Profile Bill Richardson

Department of Commerce

Bill Richardson (withdrawn)



Note: New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson withdrew his nomination on Jan. 4, 2009, because of a grand jury investigations into state contracts.

President-elect Barack Obama named New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, one of the nation's most prominent Hispanic politicians, as his pick for commerce secretary. If confirmed, he would serve as Mr. Obama put it at a news conference announcing the pick on Dec. 3, 2008, as the nation's "leading economic diplomat."

Richardson is also another one of the president-elect's Democratic primary rivals now joining him, along with Vice President-elect Biden and Secretary of State-designate Hillary Clinton. Richardson dropped out of the race in January and then offered a key endorsement to Mr. Obama in March.

Richardson, 61, has served in a multitude of roles in a career mostly spent in public service. He was a congressman representing New Mexico for 14 years. In the Clinton administration, he served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and as Energy Secretary. He has been New Mexico's governor since 2003. He has a bachelor's and master's degrees Tufts University.

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