Obama’s Small Business Administration chief steps down

The Obama administration’s Small Business Administrator Karen Mills is leaving her post, according to a statement by President Obama released Monday morning:

“I want to thank Administrator Mills for her outstanding work on behalf of America’s small business owners and entrepreneurs.  I asked Karen to lead the Small Business Administration because I knew she had the skills and experience to help America’s small businesses recover from the worst economic crisis in generations — and that’s exactly what she’s done.  Over the last four years, Karen has made it easier for small businesses to interact with the federal government by reducing paperwork and cutting through red tape.  She has played a leading role in my Administration’s efforts to support start-ups and entrepreneurs.  And she was instrumental in the passage of the Small Business Jobs Act.  Because of Karen’s hard work and dedication, our small businesses are better positioned to create jobs and our entire economy is stronger. I want to thank Karen and am grateful for her service.”

Mills was the 23rd SBA administrator and, in January 2012, was elevated to Cabinet-level by Obama.

“Karen Mills, who’s been doing an outstanding job leading that agency, is going to make sure that small-business owners have their own seat at the table in our Cabinet meetings,” Obama said last year.

The Wall Street Journal reported then that Obama intends to eventually “combine the SBA with five other government offices that would become a single, streamlined agency. Under the Obama plan, the SBA administration would no longer be in the Cabinet once the reorganization is complete.”

With Mills’ departure, Obama loses yet another woman among his Cabinet-level appointees. Mills has served as SBA administrator since 2009.

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