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US Secretary of Energy

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US 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 § 7131
Formation August 6, 1977
First holder James R. Schlesinger
Succession Fifteenth
(presidential line of succession)
Deputy Deputy Secretary of Energy
Salary Executive Schedule, level 1

The United States Secretary of Energy is the head of the U.S. Department of Energy, a member of the U.S. President's Cabinet, and fifteenth in the presidential line of succession. The position was formed on October 1, 1977 with the creation of the Department of Energy when President Jimmy Carter signed the Department of Energy Organization Act.[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 01977-08-06August 6, 1977 01979-08-06August 6, 1979 Republican Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter
2 Duncan, CharlesCharles Duncan Texas 01979-08-24August 24, 1979 01981-01-20January 20, 1981 Democratic
3 Edwards, James B.James B. Edwards South Carolina 01981-01-23January 23, 1981 01982-11-05November 5, 1982 Republican Reagan, RonaldRonald Reagan
4 Hodel, Donald P.Donald P. Hodel Oregon 01982-11-05November 5, 1982 01985-02-07February 7, 1985 Republican
5 Herrington, John S.John S. Herrington California 01985-02-07February 7, 1985 01989-01-20January 20, 1989 Republican
6 Watkins, James D.James D. Watkins California 01989-03-01March 1, 1989 01993-01-20January 20, 1993 Republican Bush, George H. W.George H. W. Bush
7 O'Leary, HazelHazel O'Leary Virginia 01993-01-22January 22, 1993 01997-01-20January 20, 1997 Democratic Clinton, BillBill Clinton
8 Peña, FedericoFederico Peña Colorado 01997-03-12March 12, 1997 01998-06-30June 30, 1998 Democratic
9 Richardson, BillBill Richardson New Mexico 01998-08-18August 18, 1998 02001-01-20January 20, 2001 Democratic
10 Abraham, SpencerSpencer Abraham Michigan 02001-01-20January 20, 2001 02005-02-01February 1, 2005 Republican Bush, George W.George W. Bush
11 Bodman, Samuel W.Samuel W. Bodman Illinois 02005-02-01February 1, 2005 02009-01-20January 20, 2009 Republican
12 Chu, StevenSteven Chu California 02009-01-20January 20, 2009 02013-04-22April 22, 2013 Democratic Obama, BarackBarack Obama
13 Moniz, ErnestErnest Moniz Massachusetts 02013-05-16May 16, 2013 Incumbent Democratic

See also


External links

United States presidential line of succession
Preceded by
Secretary of Transportation
15th in line Succeeded by
Secretary of Education

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