full of energy

United States Secretary of Energy

The United States Secretary of Energy is the head of the United States Department of Energy, a member of the President's Cabinet, and fifteenth in the Presidential line of succession. The post was created with the formation of the Department of Energy on October 1, 1977 by President Jimmy Carter's signing of the Department of Energy Organization Act. The position was originally developed to focus on energy production and regulation. During the 1980s, the emphasis shifted to development of technology for better, more efficient energy sources as well as education regarding energy. As the Cold War ended, the department's efforts were more often devoted to nuclear waste disposal and maintenance of environmental quality.

The first Secretary of Energy was former Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, 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 was also the only secretary to be dismissed from the post. Bill Clinton's first Secretary of Energy, Hazel R. O'Leary, was the longest to hold the position, as well as its first female and African-American holder. Clinton also named Federico Peña to the post, the first Hispanic to hold the position. Bill Richardson, who succeeded Peña, was the second Hispanic to hold the position and later became Governor of New Mexico. The current secretary, Samuel W. Bodman, has held the post since February 1, 2005.

List of Secretaries of Energy

Secretaries of Energy
# Name Portrait Took Office Left Office President served under
1 James R. Schlesinger August 6, 1977 August 23, 1979 Jimmy Carter
2 Charles W. Duncan, Jr. August 24, 1979 January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
3 James B. Edwards January 23, 1981 November 5, 1982 Ronald Reagan
4 Donald Paul Hodel November 5, 1982 February 7, 1985 Ronald Reagan
5 John S. Herrington February 7, 1985 January 20, 1989 Ronald Reagan
6 James D. Watkins March 1, 1989 January 20, 1993 George H. W. Bush
7 Hazel R. O'Leary January 22, 1993 January 20, 1997 Bill Clinton
8 Federico Peña March 12, 1997 June 30, 1998 Bill Clinton
9 Bill Richardson August 18, 1998 January 20, 2001 Bill Clinton
10 Spencer Abraham January 20, 2001 February 1, 2005 George W. Bush
11 Samuel W. Bodman February 1, 2005 Present George W. Bush



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