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
|United States Department of Energy|
|Reports to||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|
|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 Cabinet of the United States, 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 and 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. The current Secretary of Energy is Grace Bochenek and President Donald Trump plans to name Rick Perry as the next Secretary of Energy.
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 the first female and African-American holder. The first Hispanic to serve as Energy Secretary was Clinton's second, Federico Peña. Spencer Abraham became the first Arab American to hold the position on November 15, 2004, serving under the administration of George W. Bush. 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 longest-serving Secretary of Energy.
List of 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 21, 2013||January 20, 2017||Democratic|
|January 20, 2017||present||Democratic||Donald Trump|
|14||Perry, RickRick Perry||Texas||TBD
Pending Senate confirmation
Living former Secretaries of Energy
As of February 2017, there are ten living former Secretaries of Energy, the oldest being Charles Duncan, Jr. (served 1979-1981, born 1926). The most recent Secretary of Energy to die was James B. Edwards (served 1981–1982, born 1927), on December 26, 2014. The most recently serving Secretary to die was James D. Watkins (served 1989-1993, born 1927) on July 26, 2012.
|Name||Term||Date of birth (and age)|
|Charles Duncan, Jr.||1979–1981||September 9, 1926|
|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|
|Ernest Moniz||2013–2017||December 22, 1944|
- "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.
- "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 2016-10-17.
|United States presidential line of succession|
Secretary of Transportation
|15th in line||Succeeded by
Secretary of Education