WASHINGTON — U.S. Small Business Administrator Karen Mills has selected another woman with strong Maine ties to fill the Cabinet-level post until President Obama nominates a new administrator.
Mills, who lives in Brunswick when she isn’t working in Washington, announced Tuesday to the staff of the Small Business Administration that Jeanne Hulit will be acting administrator when Mills steps down at the end of this month.
Hulit is now associate administrator of the SBA’s Office of Capital Access. She previously served as the SBA’s regional administrator for New England.
A resident of Falmouth, Hulit was a senior vice president for commercial lending at Citizens Bank before joining the SBA, and was a deputy director in the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.
“For the past four years Jeanne has been an important leader at the SBA both in the field and here at headquarters,” Mills wrote. “Jeanne has led the charge to streamline and simplify SBA’s loan programs and expand access to our lending programs.”
The SBA administrator oversees an agency that has more than 3,000 employees and manages more than $90 billion in loan guarantees to small businesses. In 2011, the SBA supported more than $30 billion in loans to 60,000 businesses.
Mills has been the administrator for about four years. Obama made the administrator a key part of his economic team when he elevated the position to Cabinet level.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine praised Hulit’s selection as acting administrator.
“It’s quite a testament to our state that Jeanne and outgoing Administrator Karen Mills are both from Maine, but it makes perfect sense given the strength of our small business community,” Pingree said in a prepared statement. “Jeanne brings a number of important skills and both public- and private-sector experiences to the position. She has played pivotal roles in supporting our economic recovery while heading New England’s Regional SBA Office and the national Office of Capital Access.”
Mills announced her plans to step down in February, saying she would stay in office until her successor was chosen. She announced recently that she would leave at the end of August to take positions at Harvard University.
Mills’ husband, Barry Mills, is president of Bowdoin College in Brunswick.
Kevin Miller can be contacted at 317-6256 or at:
This story was corrected at 3:31 p.m. on Aug. 21 to reflect that Jeanne Hulit lives in Falmouth.