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
|U.S. Department of Energy|
|Reports to||The President|
|Term length||No fixed term|
|Constituting instrument||42 U.S.C. § 7131|
|Formation||August 6, 1977|
|First holder||James R. Schlesinger|
(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. 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.
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. Hazel O'Leary, Bill Clinton's first Secretary of Energy, was first female and African-American holder. The first Hispanic to serve as Energy Secretary was Clinton's second, Federico Peña. 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 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. Following Chu's resignation, Ernest Moniz was nominated and confirmed as Secretary of Energy, taking office on May 16, 2013.
Secretaries of Energy
|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[update], 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||September 9, 1926|
|James B. Edwards||1981–1982||June 24, 1927|
|Donald P. Hodel||1982–1985||May 23, 1935|
|John S. Herrington||1985–1989||May 31, 1939|
|Hazel R. O'Leary||1993–1997||May 17, 1937|
|Federico Peña||1997-1998||March 15, 1947|
|Bill Richardson||1998-2001||November 15, 1947|
|Spencer Abraham||2001-2005||June 12, 1952|
|Samuel Bodman||2005-2009||November 26, 1938|
|Steven Chu||2009-2013||February 28, 1948|
- "Origins". U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
- "The Clinton Administration". The Washington Post. 2000-02-18. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
- "Biography of James Schlesinger Origins". U.S. Department of Defense. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
- "President Hazel R. O'Leary Honored by Urban League". Fisk University. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
- "Federico F. Peña to be Sworn in as the Eighth Secretary of Energy". U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
- "Chu named energy chief". The Straits Times. 2008-12-12. Retrieved 2009-01-22.[dead link]
- "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.
- "Official site of U.S. Department of Energy". U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
- "Secretaries of Energy". U.S. Department of Energy. Retrieved 2007-08-13.
|United States presidential line of succession|
Secretary of Transportation
|15th in line||Succeeded by
Secretary of Education