WASHINGTON (CNN) – President-elect Barack Obama announced New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as his pick for secretary of commerce on Wednesday, calling him a "leading economic diplomat for America."
"I know that Bill will be an unyielding advocate for American business and American jobs, at home and around the world. And I look forward to working with him in the years ahead," Obama said at a news conference in Chicago, Illinois.
Richardson, one of the best-known Hispanics in the Democratic Party, served as the energy secretary in the Clinton administration as well as being the ambassador to the United Nations.
With the announcement, Richardson becomes the third former presidential rival to join Obama's team. Vice President-elect Joe Biden and Sen. Hillary Clinton, Obama's pick for secretary of state, also competed for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Richardson on Wednesday called it a "great honor" to be chosen for the post.
Watch Richardson describe how Commerce can push economic recovery
"There are some who speak of a team of rivals, but I've never seen it that way. Past competitors? Yes. But rivals implies something harder-edged and less forgiving. And in the worlds of diplomacy and commerce, you open markets and minds not with rivalry, but instead with partnership and innovation and hard work," Richardson said.