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United States Secretary of Energy

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

since May 16, 2013
United States Department of Energy
Member of Cabinet
Reports to The President
Seat Washington, D.C.
Appointer The President
with Senate advice and consent
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

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 Fourteenth 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 75px Schlesinger, James R.James R. Schlesinger Virginia August 6, 1977 August 23, 1979 Republican Carter, JimmyJimmy Carter
2 75px Duncan, Jr., Charles W.Charles W. Duncan, Jr. Texas August 24, 1979 January 20, 1981 Democratic
3 75px Edwards, James B.James B. Edwards South Carolina January 23, 1981 November 5, 1982 Republican Reagan, RonaldRonald Reagan
4 75px Hodel, Donald P.Donald P. Hodel Oregon November 5, 1982 February 7, 1985 Republican
5 75px Herrington, John S.John S. Herrington California February 7, 1985 January 20, 1989 Republican
6 75px Watkins, James D.James D. Watkins California March 1, 1989 January 20, 1993 Republican Bush, George H. W.George H. W. Bush
7 75px O'Leary, Hazel R.Hazel R. O'Leary Virginia January 22, 1993 January 20, 1997 Democratic Clinton, BillBill Clinton
8 75px Peña, Federico F.Federico F. Peña Colorado March 12, 1997 June 30, 1998 Democratic
9 75px Richardson, William B.William B. Richardson New Mexico August 18, 1998 January 20, 2001 Democratic
10 75px Abraham, SpencerSpencer Abraham Michigan January 20, 2001 February 1, 2005 Republican Bush, George W.George W. Bush
11 75px Bodman, Samuel W.Samuel W. Bodman Illinois February 1, 2005 January 20, 2009 Republican
12 75px Chu, StevenSteven Chu California January 20, 2009 April 22, 2013 Democratic Obama, BarackBarack Obama
13 75px Moniz, ErnestErnest Moniz Massachusetts May 21, 2013 Incumbent Democratic

Living former Secretaries of Energy

As of December 2014, there are nine living former Secretaries of Energy, the oldest being Charles Duncan, Jr. (1979-1981, born 1926). The most recent Secretary of Energy to die was James B. Edwards (1981–1982), on December 26, 2014.

Name Term of office Date of birth (and age)
Charles Duncan, Jr. 1979–1981 (1926-09-09) September 9, 1926 (age 93)
Donald P. Hodel 1982–1985 (1935-05-23) May 23, 1935 (age 85)
John S. Herrington 1985–1989 (1939-05-31) May 31, 1939 (age 81)
Hazel R. O'Leary 1993–1997 (1937-05-17) May 17, 1937 (age 83)
Federico Peña 1997-1998 (1947-03-15) March 15, 1947 (age 73)
Bill Richardson 1998-2001 (1947-11-15) November 15, 1947 (age 72)
Spencer Abraham 2001-2005 (1952-06-12) June 12, 1952 (age 68)
Samuel Bodman 2005-2009 (1938-11-26) November 26, 1938 (age 81)
Steven Chu 2009-2013 (1948-02-28) February 28, 1948 (age 72)

See also


  1. ^ "Origins". U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  2. ^ "The Clinton Administration". The Washington Post. 2000-02-18. Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  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". Fisk University. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-13. 
  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". The Straits Times. 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2009-01-22. [dead link]
  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

Unknown extension tag "indicator"