Re-shaping the Department of Energy in Obama's Second Term: Picking a New Energy Secretary

November 29, 2012

In 2008, the President brought in a new group of thought leaders into the Department of Energy, including Secretary Steven Chu, Arun Majumdar, and current Assistant Secretary for EERE David Danielson, that breathed fresh air into an often criticized DOE that is nonetheless central to spurring and facilitating the nations energy innovation ecosystem. In the four years since, the ecosystem is running better than before and beginning to seed new clean energy technologies, ideas and services in the market place. But more work needs to be done. America needs a better innovation ecosystem to develop and commercialize the cheap, high-performance low-carbon energy technologies necessary to addressing climate change and energy security issues. In other words, 2008’s talent infusion cannot be a one-off experience and choosing the right person at the top is a key first step.