A Dozen Secretaries of Energy

In the past two days, numerous news outlets have reported that president-elect Barack Obama will nominate Nobel Prize winner Steven Chu, director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to become the next secretary of energy. If he is officially announced and then confirmed, Chu will become the 12th individual to lead the Department of Energy. Do you remember the 11 who preceded him, starting in 1977?

Here’s the full list, provided by the DOE. (Visit the DOE’s history pages for photos and brief bios of all previous secretaries of energy.)

James R. Schlesinger
Term of Office: August 6, 1977-August 23, 1979
Previously: Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission, 1971-73. Director, Central Intelligence Agency, 1973.

Charles W. Duncan, Jr.
Term of Office: August 24, 1979-January 20, 1981
Previously: President, Coca-Cola Company, 1971-74. Deputy Secretary of Defense, 1977-79.

James B. Edwards
Term of Office: January 23, 1981-November 5, 1982
Previously: Governor of South Carolina, 1975-79.

Donald Paul Hodel
Term of Office: November 5, 1982-February 7, 1985
Previously: Administrator, Bonneville Power Administration, 1972-77. Under Secretary of the Interior, 1981-82.

John S. Herrington
Term of Office: February 7, 1985-January 20, 1989
Previously: Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 1981-83. Assistant to the President of the United States, 1984.

James D. Watkins
Term of Office: March 1, 1989-January 20, 1993
Previously: Chief of Naval Operations, 1982-86. Chairman, Presidential Commission on the Human Immunodeficiency Virus Epidemic, 1987-88.

Hazel R. O’Leary
Term of Office: January 22, 1993-January 20, 1997
Previously: Assistant Attorney General, State of New Jersey, 1967-68. Administrator, Economic Regulatory Administration, 1979-80. Vice President and then President, Northern States Power Company, 1989-93.

Federico F. Peña
Term of Office: March 12, 1997-June 30, 1998
Previously: Mayor, City and County of Denver, 1983-91. Secretary of Transportation, 1993-97.

Bill Richardson
Term of Office: August 18, 1998-January 20, 2001
Previously: U.S. Congressman from New Mexico, 1983-97. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, 1997-98.

Spencer Abraham
Term of Office:  January 20, 2001 – January 31, 2005
Previously: Chairman, Michigan Republican Party, 1982-1990. Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Vice President, 1990-1991. Co-Chairman, National Republican Congressional Committee, 1991-1993. U. S. Senator, 1995-2001.

Samuel W. Bodman
Term of Office:  February 1, 2005  – Present
Previously: Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT, 1965-1971. President and Chief Operating Officer, Fidelity Investments, 1983-1987. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Cabot Corporation, 1988-2001. Deputy Secretary, Department of Commerce 2001-2004. Deputy Secretary, Department of the Treasury, 2004-2005.