Biden names Penny Pritzker as representative for Ukraine’s economic recovery

(Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden on Thursday said he had appointed former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to serve as the new U.S. special representative for Ukraine’s economic recovery.

Biden said she would mobilize public and private investment, shape donor priorities, and work to open export markets and businesses shut down by what he called Russia’s brutal attacks and destruction.

“As we take this next step to help Ukraine forge a stronger future, we remain steadfastly committed to helping it defend its freedom today,” he said in a statement.

Pritzker, 64, served as secretary of the U.S. Commerce Department under President Barack Obama from June 2013 to January 2017. Her family fled anti-Jewish pogroms in Ukraine in the 1880s.

In a separate statement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Pritzker would also work closely with Kyiv on reforms needed to mobilize foreign direct investment.

(Reporting by Paul Grant and David Ljunggren; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Andrea Ricci)