Obama touted Bryson's clean-energy credentials earlier Tuesday.
"Throughout a distinguished career in which he’s led nonprofits, government agencies, and large companies, he’s been a fierce proponent of alternative energy," Obama said.
Bryson has spent much of his career in the energy sector.
He served as CEO of Edison International, a California-based electric power generator, for 18 years; he is board chairman of BrightSource Energy, a California-based solar company; and he spent years working on energy and water issues in California in the 1970s and 1980s.
The nomination of Bryson sets up a showdown between the White House and the GOP on trade.
Senate Republicans warned Tuesday that Bryson’s nomination would be stuck until the administration sends Congress legislation implementing three trade deals, with South Korea, Colombia and Panama.
Here's more on Bryson's energy and environmental sector experience.