US appoints former commerce secretary and major Democratic donor to coordinate private sector aid to Ukraine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration has tapped the former commerce secretary and major Democratic donor Penny Pritzker to coordinate U.S. efforts to provide private sector reconstruction assistance to Ukraine.

“Working closely with the government of Ukraine, our allies and partners, international financial institutions and the private sector, she will advance United States efforts to rebuild Ukraine’s economy,” Biden said in a statement. “This includes mobilizing public and private investment, setting donor priorities and working to open export markets and businesses shut down by Russia’s brutal attacks and destruction.”

Pritzker, a Chicago native with Ukrainian family roots, heiress to her family’s Hyatt hotel fortune and a prolific fundraiser for Democratic Party candidates, served as commerce secretary during the Obama administration.

Her “extensive experience in the private sector, her service as Secretary of Commerce and her deep personal connection to Ukraine and the Ukrainian diaspora make her uniquely qualified for this role,” Blinken said. “It will be key to our resolve to ensure that Ukraine not only survives but thrives on its own.”

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