The Senate confirmed Thursday key positions nominated by the White House:
Commerce: Rebecca M. Blank was confirmed as deputy secretary. Since June 2009, Blank served as under secretary for economic affairs and head of the Economics and Statistics Administration. According to the Commerce website, Blank’s work helped net $1.6 billion in savings in 2010 for the agency.
Housing and Urban Development: Maurice A. Jones was confirmed as deputy secretary. Jones is the president and publisher of Pilot Media, which publishes the Virginian-Pilot and other newspapers. During the Clinton administration, Jones served as legal counsel, deputy director for policy and programs, and director of the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund at the Department of the Treasury.
Homeland Security Department: Margaret Ann Sherry was confirmed as chief financial officer.