Penny Pritzker

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  • U.S. Secretary of Commerce (2013-2017)
  • Founder and Chairman, PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group
  • Co-Chair, Cyber Readiness Institute

Penny Pritzker is an entrepreneur, civic leader and philanthropist with more than 30 years of experience in numerous industries. Named by Forbes as one of the 100 most powerful women in the world, Pritzker is the founder and Chairman of PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group, a global private investment firm that takes a long-term, fundamental approach to investing in and building market-leading businesses in sectors such as professional services, real estate, technology, agriculture, industrial services and consumer products. 

From June 2013 through January 2017, Pritzker served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce in the Obama Administration. Pritzker was a core member of President Obama’s economic team and served as the country’s chief commercial advocate, leading the Administration’s trade and investment promotion efforts. During her tenure, she launched SelectUSA, the first federal initiative aimed at attracting foreign direct investment to the United States, which facilitated $23 billion in investment to date and created or retained tens of thousands of good paying American jobs. Pritzker also developed the agency’s first comprehensive digital and data agenda, chaired the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) program and served as the Administration’s point person on manufacturing. 

 
  

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Rave Reviews About Penny Pritzker
Penny is one of our country’s most distinguished business leaders. She's got more than 25 years of management experience in industries including real estate, finance, and hospitality. She’s built companies from the ground up. She knows from experience that no government program alone can take the place of a great entrepreneur. She knows that what we can do is to give every business and every worker the best possible chance to succeed by making America a magnet for good jobs.

A Sample of the Groups That Have Hosted Penny Pritzker
  • Axios
  • The Aspen Institute
  • Walmart Manufacturing Summit
  • Atlantic Council
  • University of Chicago's Institute of Politics
  • National Electrical Manufacturers Association
  • Economic Club of Chicago
  • U.S. Travel Association
  • Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit
  • The Council on Foreign Relations
Commercial Diplomacy: A Conversation with Penny Pritzker at the Council on Foreign Relations - Get Sharable Link
Commercial Diplomacy: A Conversation with Penny Pritzker at the Council on Foreign Relations
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Fortune: Penny Pritzker on Being America's Top CEO
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Penny Pritzker at The National Press Club
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Penny Pritzker talks China and Cuba at Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit
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Penny Pritzker at the Aspen Institute: Creating Conditions for Entrepreneurism
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Penny Pritzker Global Leadership Awards at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs
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Penny Pritzer: We need to train workers for the 21st century - CNBC
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Explore Penny Pritzker's Talks
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The Global Economic Landscape: A Look at What’s Ahead

Drawing on over 30 years of experience at top-positions in the private sector as well as her time as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Pritzker illuminates what lies ahead for the global economy and how to develop a strategic plan for economic growth. From anxiety surrounding technology’s impact on th ...

Drawing on over 30 years of experience at top-positions in the private sector as well as her time as the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Pritzker illuminates what lies ahead for the global economy and how to develop a strategic plan for economic growth. From anxiety surrounding technology’s impact on the workforce, to the importance of global trade agreements and uncertain tax policies, Pritzker dives into the world’s most pressing and complex economic issues, providing a roadmap for leaders across industries and identifying underlying trends before they are headline news. Serving as the country’s chief commercial advocate at the Department of Commerce—where she facilitated over $23 billion in foreign direct investment to the U.S. and served as the administration’s point person on the digital economy—and as the Founder and Chairman of a global private investment firm, Pritzker tackles the economy from the perspective of both the board room and the situation room, sharing firsthand experience and sharp policy analysis to highlight a path forward.

The Future of Work: Trends and Technology to Innovate for Tomorrow

A renowned entrepreneur who has developed a variety of businesses across industries from the ground up and a former chair of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship program, Pritzker reveals top business-building strategies to encourage growth and innovation. From cyber risk managem ...

A renowned entrepreneur who has developed a variety of businesses across industries from the ground up and a former chair of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship program, Pritzker reveals top business-building strategies to encourage growth and innovation. From cyber risk management to skills training and more, Pritzker highlights workforce trends and the latest technological developments to offer a pragmatic, solutions-based approach for businesses to create a strategic plan to proactively grow, stay ahead of the competition, and prepare to succeed in a technological future.

A Seat at the Table: Female Leadership in Business

Included in Forbes’ list of “100 Most Powerful Women in the World,” Pritzker draws on her experience as a female leader in often male-dominated industries to share impactful lessons on how to foster a more inclusive work environment and how women can advance their careers.  A fierce advocate of wome ...

Included in Forbes’ list of “100 Most Powerful Women in the World,” Pritzker draws on her experience as a female leader in often male-dominated industries to share impactful lessons on how to foster a more inclusive work environment and how women can advance their careers.  A fierce advocate of women’s empowerment, Pritzker shares insights on how businesses with greater diversity are more productive and profitable, highlights how to advance women in corporate leadership and addresses global initiatives that can empower female entrepreneurs worldwide.

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<p>Penny Pritzker talks future of work and trade at Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference </p>

Penny Pritzker talks future of work and trade at Fortune Brainstorm Tech Conference 

Speaking on “The Future of Employment” at the Fortune Brainstrom Tech Conference, Penny Pritzker shed light on how the nature of work is evolving, emphasizing how proper training is crucial as more and more jobs are taken over by technology. Calling for increased spending on job training where business communities identify a need, Pritzker highlighted what government and companies can do to better equip and support the next generation of workers. As the former Secretary of Commerce (2013-17) and current Chairman of PSP Capital, Pritzker is uniquely positioned to provide insights into how the public and private sector can work together for mutually beneficial economic growth. She drew on her tremendous wealth of experience during an informative and engaging one-on-one interview with Bloomberg, taking a break from the conference to share sharp analysis on how to boost the U.S. economy and create a “competitive America.” Touching on everything from current weaknesses in trade policy, to the need for infrastructure spending, and importance of social safety nets, Pritzker’s remarks provide invaluable takeaways for the business community and government alike.

Watch Penny Pritzker’s interview on Bloomberg >>
<p>Penny Pritzker continues to advance American commerce as Co-Chair of Cyber Readiness Institute</p>

Penny Pritzker continues to advance American commerce as Co-Chair of Cyber Readiness Institute

Penny Pritzker is Co-Chair of The Cyber Readiness Institute, an initiative recently launched to advance cyber risk management in the private sector, with a focus on support for small and medium-size enterprises. “In today’s dynamic cyber threat environment, it is essential to ensure that cyber risk management skills are embedded in every organization. The work of the Cyber Readiness Institute will help better inform and educate our workforce about ways to mitigate cyber risks to help secure businesses and the broader digital economy,” said Pritzker. The CRI is assembling senior leaders of global companies from across multiple sectors to capture best practices for managing the people, processes, and technology needed for effective cybersecurity across value chains. 

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<p><strong>Penny Pritzker receives inaugural “Commercial Diplomat of the Year Award”</strong></p>

Penny Pritzker receives inaugural “Commercial Diplomat of the Year Award”

Penny Pritzker was honored as the inaugural recipient of the “Commercial Diplomat of the Year Award” by Foreign Policy, an award that recognizes business and government leaders who actively promote their country’s interests internationally through both commercial and economic diplomacy. Pritzker embodied the spirit and work of a commercial diplomat throughout her tenure as the Secretary of Commerce, engaging in key negotiations to promote both the United States’ business and foreign policy interests. During her time in office Pritzker visited over 30 countries, meeting with numerous heads of state and thousands of business leaders, consistently seeking and supporting opportunities where the private sector and government could partner in support of strategic policies and reforms. Pritzker was the first Commerce Secretary to travel to Cuba in more than 50 years following the island’s resumed diplomatic relations with the United States, spearheading the economic opening between the two countries and laying a foundation for new economic opportunities; she launched the inaugural bilateral Commercial Dialogue with India; facilitated economic reforms in Ukraine; and led the effort to strengthen America’s trade and economic relationship with Mexico.  Pritzker delivered a speech in acceptance of the award, highlighting her work and sharing key insights on the success and progress that can be made, “when and where the interests of business and government overlap.”   

Watch Penny Pritzker discuss Commercial Diplomacy at the Council on Foreign Relations >>
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Biography

Penny Pritzker is an entrepreneur, civic leader and philanthropist with more than 30 years of experience in numerous industries. Pritzker is the founder and Chairman of PSP Capital Partners and Pritzker Realty Group, a global private investment firm that takes a long-term, fundamental approach to investing in and building market-leading businesses in sectors such as professional services, real estate, technology, agriculture, industrial services and consumer products. In close partnership with entrepreneurs, PSP Capital’s approach is patient, flexible and solutions oriented. PSP Capital has a profound appreciation for preserving strong cultures and aligning interests with strategic partners to build shareholder value. 

From June 2013 through January 2017, Pritzker served as U.S. Secretary of Commerce in the Obama Administration. Pritzker was a core member of President Obama’s economic team and served as the country’s chief commercial advocate, leading the Administration’s trade and investment promotion efforts. During her tenure, she launched SelectUSA, the first federal initiative aimed at attracting foreign direct investment to the United States, which facilitated $23 billion in investment to date and created or retained tens of thousands of good paying American jobs. Pritzker also developed the agency’s first comprehensive digital and data agenda, chaired the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE) program and served as the Administration’s point person on manufacturing. She also developed the first workforce and skills development agenda for the Department, ensuring federal training expenditures are job driven, strengthening regional workforce development efforts and facilitating new research on the value of apprenticeships to employers.

Pritzker previously founded Vi Senior Living (formerly known as Classic Residence by Hyatt), and co-founded The Parking Spot and Artemis Real Estate Partners. Pritzker is the former chairman of the board of TransUnion and is a past board member of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company, Marmon Group and LaSalle Bank Corporation. Pritzker is also a member of board of the Carnegie Endowment, a member of the Aspen Strategy Group and the Aspen Economic Strategy Group and on the advisory council of the Hamilton Project. She was also member of the board of the Council on Foreign Relations, the board of trustees of Stanford University, the Harvard University Board of Overseers and founded Skills for America’s Future. She also served on President Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and his Economic Recovery Advisory Board.

Pritzker earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Harvard University and a Juris Doctor and Masters of Business Administration from Stanford University. Pritzker and her husband, Dr. Bryan Traubert, co-founded The Pritzker Traubert Family Foundation, a private philanthropic foundation that works to foster increased economic opportunity for Chicago’s families.