US President-elect Barack Obama nominated on Wednesday New Mexico governor Bill Richardson as the next secretary of commerce.
"Last week, Vice President-elect Biden and I began the process of announcing our economic team," Obama told a news conference at his transition office headquarters in Chicago, Illinois. "Today we are pleased to name another key member of this team -- our nominee for secretary of commerce, my great friend, Gov. Bill Richardson."
Obama described Richardson as a leading "economic diplomat for America" who "has been seen from just about every angle what makes our economy work and what keeps it working better" during his time in state government and Congress, and in two tours of duty in the cabinet.
Richardson, 61, has served as United Nations ambassador and energy secretary during the Clinton administration. He is currently in his second term as New Mexico's governor.
As a Hispanic, Richardson launched his bid for the White House early this year, but gave it up after the second Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire.
He then threw his support for Obama and campaigned for his bid to become the first African-American president in the country.
(Xinhua News Agency December 4, 2008)