Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is resigning, saying she plans to return to her native California. She is expected to run for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.
In a message to colleagues Wednesday, Solis said she made the decision after discussing it with family and close friends.
One of the highest-ranking Hispanics in Obama's administration, Solis has won praise from labor unions for aggressive enforcement of wage and hour laws and job safety regulations. But business groups have criticized her as not taking a more cooperative approach.
President Barack Obama calls Solis "a tireless champion for working families."
Separately, the White House says that Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki will remain in their posts.