Former Secretary of DefenseJames 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.