WASHINGTON (AP) -- Acting Commerce Secretary Rebecca Blank is leaving the Obama administration to serve as chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

President Barack Obama announced Blank's departure in a statement Monday. He says Blank has distinguished herself as a "steady leader and a vital member of my economic team."

Blank joined the Commerce Department in 2009 as an economic advisor and was later promoted to deputy secretary. She was named acting secretary last year after John Bryson suffered a seizure and resigned.

The president has not named a nominee to run the department permanently. Top Obama fundraiser Penny Pritzker is considered a leading candidate for the post.

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