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Brothers Kerry to play roles in US cabinet

US Secretary of State John Kerry smiles as US President Barack Obama announces him, December 21, 2012, Washington, DC
US Secretary of State John Kerry smiles as US President Barack Obama announces him on December 21, 2012 at the White House in Washington, DC. Kerry's brother is stepping in as acting commerce secretary in a rare move which will see two siblings in the US

The brother of Secretary of State John Kerry is stepping in as acting commerce secretary in a rare move which will see two siblings in the US cabinet, officials said Monday.

Cameron Kerry, who held a senior post in the Commerce Department, will take up the position from June 1 when the current post-holder Rebecca Blank leaves to become the chancellor of University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"Cam has been at the Department of Commerce since 2009 and has worked on all aspects of the Department's mission in his role as General Counsel," Blank said in a letter to staff."

He will hold the post awaiting Senate confirmation of wealthy Chicago billionaire Hyatt hotels heiress Penny Pritzker, who has been tapped by President Barack Obama as the next commerce secretary.

It will mark a rare occasion when two brothers will serve in a cabinet, although late president John F. Kennedy appointed his brother Robert as attorney general.

John Kerry, who took over the post as the nation's top diplomat on February 1, was "excited about the opportunity that his brother has and looks forward to working with him," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.

Cameron Kerry, 62, is the secretary of state's younger brother. They also have two sisters.

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