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United States Secretary of Energy

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Title: United States Secretary of Energy  
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United States Secretary of Energy

Secretary of Energy of the United States of America
Flag of the Secretary of Energy
Seal of the Department of Energy
Ernest Moniz

since May 16, 2013
U.S. Department of Energy
Member of Cabinet
Reports to The President
Seat Washington, D.C.
Appointer The President
Term length No fixed term
Constituting instrument 42 U.S.C. § 7131
Formation August 6, 1977
First holder James R. Schlesinger
Succession Fourteenth in the United States Presidential Line of Succession
Deputy Deputy Secretary of Energy
Salary Executive Schedule, level 1
Website .gov.doewww

The United States Secretary of Energy is the head of the [1] Originally the post focused on energy production and regulation. The emphasis soon shifted to developing technology for better, more efficient energy sources as well as energy education. After the end of the Cold War, the department's attention also turned toward radioactive waste disposal and maintenance of environmental quality.[2]

Former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger was the first Secretary of Energy, who was a Republican nominated to the post by Democratic President Jimmy Carter, the only time a president has appointed someone of another party to the post. Schlesinger is also the only secretary to be dismissed from the post.[3] Hazel O'Leary, Bill Clinton's first Secretary of Energy, was first female and African-American holder.[4] The first Hispanic to serve as Energy Secretary was Clinton's second, Federico Peña.[5] Steven Chu became the first Asian American to hold the position on January 20, 2009, serving under the administration of Barack Obama. He is also the first and only Nobel Prize winner to be a Cabinet secretary[6] and the longest-serving Secretary of Energy.

On February 1, 2013, Chu announced his resignation, stating that he will continue to serve until after the ARPA-E Summit at the end of February and possibly until a new secretary is appointed.[7] Following Chu's resignation, Ernest Moniz was nominated and confirmed as Secretary of Energy, taking office on May 16, 2013.

Secretaries of Energy


      Democratic       Republican

No. Portrait Name State of residence Took office Left office Party President(s)
1 Schlesinger, James R.James R. Schlesinger Virginia August 6, 1977 August 23, 1979 Republican Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter
2 Duncan, Jr., Charles W.Charles W. Duncan, Jr. Texas August 24, 1979 January 20, 1981 Democratic
3 Edwards, James B.James B. Edwards South Carolina January 23, 1981 November 5, 1982 Republican Reagan, RonaldRonald Reagan
4 Hodel, Donald P.Donald P. Hodel Oregon November 5, 1982 February 7, 1985 Republican
5 Herrington, John S.John S. Herrington California February 7, 1985 January 20, 1989 Republican
6 Watkins, James D.James D. Watkins California March 1, 1989 January 20, 1993 Republican Bush, George H. W.George H. W. Bush
7 O'Leary, Hazel R.Hazel R. O'Leary Virginia January 22, 1993 January 20, 1997 Democratic Clinton, BillBill Clinton
8 Peña, Federico F.Federico F. Peña Colorado March 12, 1997 June 30, 1998 Democratic
9 Richardson, William B.William B. Richardson New Mexico August 18, 1998 January 20, 2001 Democratic
10 Abraham, SpencerSpencer Abraham Michigan January 20, 2001 February 1, 2005 Republican Bush, George W.George W. Bush
11 Bodman, Samuel W.Samuel W. Bodman Illinois February 1, 2005 January 20, 2009 Republican
12 Chu, StevenSteven Chu California January 20, 2009 April 22, 2013 Democratic Obama, BarackBarack Obama
13 Moniz, ErnestErnest Moniz Massachusetts May 16, 2013 Incumbent Democratic

Living former Secretaries of Energy

As of October 2014, there are ten living former Secretaries of Energy, the oldest being Charles Duncan, Jr. (1979-1981, born 1926). The most recent Secretary of Energy to pass away was James R. Schlesinger (1977-1979), on March 27, 2014.

Name Term of office Date of birth
Charles Duncan, Jr. 1979–1981 (1926-09-09) September 9, 1926
James B. Edwards 1981–1982 (1927-06-24) June 24, 1927
Donald P. Hodel 1982–1985 (1935-05-23) May 23, 1935
John S. Herrington 1985–1989 (1939-05-31) May 31, 1939
Hazel R. O'Leary 1993–1997 (1937-05-17) May 17, 1937
Federico Peña 1997-1998 (1947-03-15) March 15, 1947
Bill Richardson 1998-2001 (1947-11-15) November 15, 1947
Spencer Abraham 2001-2005 (1952-06-12) June 12, 1952
Samuel Bodman 2005-2009 (1938-11-26) November 26, 1938
Steven Chu 2009-2013 (1948-02-28) February 28, 1948

See also


  1. ^ "Origins".  
  2. ^ "The Clinton Administration".  
  3. ^ "Biography of James Schlesinger Origins". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  4. ^ "President Hazel R. O'Leary Honored by Urban League".  
  5. ^ "Federico F. Peña to be Sworn in as the Eighth Secretary of Energy". U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  6. ^ "Chu named energy chief".  
  7. ^ "Letter from Secretary Steven Chu to Energy Department Employees Announcing His Decision Not to Serve a Second Term". U.S. Department of Energy. 2013-02-01. Retrieved 2013-02-02. 

External links

United States presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Transportation
Anthony Foxx
15th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Education
Arne Duncan
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