Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is stepping down from her post as President Obama begins his second term.
On Wednesday, Solis submitted her resignation to Obama and sent a statement to her colleagues saying she had reflected on whether to stay while spending time with her family over the holidays.
“After much discussion with family and close friends, I have decided to begin a new future, and return to the people and places I love and that have inspired and shaped my life," she said.
Obama praised Solis in a statement late Wednesday.
"Over the last four years, Secretary Solis has been a critical member of my economic team as we have worked to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression and strengthen the economy for the middle class. Her efforts have helped train workers for the jobs of the future, protect workers’ health and safety and put millions of Americans back to work."
Solis is the second woman to resign from the Cabinet after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In recent days, Obama has under criticism for nominating only white men to his Cabinet for his second term.
Before the latest announcement, White House spokesman Jay Carney defended the diversity of the administration. "I think it would be useful to wait and make judgments about this issue after the president has made the totality of appointments that he will make in the transition to a second term," he said.