The U.S. Senate has confirmed Rebecca M. Blank, former dean of the Ford School, as Under Secretary for Economic Affairs in the Department of Commerce. Blank was the dean of the Ford School for eight years and was also co-director of the National Poverty Center; she is currently the Robert S. Kerr Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. As Under Secretary for Economic Affairs, Becky will manage and oversee the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Economic Affairs. In addition, Becky will serve as the head of the Economics and Statistics Administration, which provides critical economic analysis to the Secretary of Commerce. Becky Blank stepped down as dean of the Ford School in July, 2007 after leading eight years of extraordinary growth. U-M Provost Teresa Sullivan said at the time of Becky's contributions, "Rebecca Blank has accomplished what she was hired to do, that is to lead the transformation of the nascent School of Public Policy into the Ford School, now a nationally ranked peer with other top schools."