U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has selected New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson to head the Commerce Department.
Obama made the announcement Wednesday in Chicago, VOA reported.
As commerce secretary, Richardson will play a key role in promoting international trade and helping to strengthen the U.S. economy. Richardson is the first Hispanic person named to Obama’s Cabinet.
Richardson served as energy secretary and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under former President Bill Clinton.
Separately today, Obama’s transition team is meeting with former military generals and admirals who are urging the incoming administration to ban harsh interrogation techniques used by the Central Intelligence Agency.
President George Bush authorized the use of harsh tactics to get information from suspected terrorists. The techniques have included waterboarding, a method that simulates drowning and had previously been classified as torture by the United States.
Also today, Vice President-elect Joe Biden is being briefed in Washington by a congressional commission on the spread of weapons of mass destruction. Biden will be joined by Obama’s pick for homeland security chief, Governor Janet Napolitano.