Penny Pritzker, who will be monitoring how well Ukraine implements economic reforms required by the US and other partner states, arrived in Kyiv.

Pritzker will also work closely with Kyiv to open export markets, attract direct foreign investment and accelerate the recovery of the country’s economy, which has been battered by Russia’s full-scale invasion.

US President Joseph Biden appointed Pritzker as the US Special Representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery on Sept. 14 and she arrived in Kyiv in her official capacity Monday morning.

She was greeted at Kyiv’s main railway station by the US Ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget Brink, who wrote on X (formerly Twitter): “A very warm welcome back to Kyiv, Secretary Pritzker!”

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Pritzker is no stranger to Kyiv having visited three times as US Secretary of Commerce, a role which she held from 2013-2017.

Pritzker, has family ties to Ukraine. Her surname derives from the village of Velyki Pritsky in Kyiv Region. Her great-grandfather emigrated from there in 1881, taking on menial jobs and teaching himself English until he could enroll in law school.

Today, Pritzker’s family controls a business empire, which includes Hyatt hotels.

Shortly after her appointment, Ukraine’s prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, held a video call with Pritzker. Then President Volodymyr Zelensky met her in person in New York, to discuss Ukraine’s reconstruction priorities.

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