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Secretaries of Energy

Department of Energy SealThe Department of Energy's overarching mission is to ensure America’s security and prosperity by addressing its energy, environmental and nuclear challenges through transformative science and technology solutions. The department has four strategic goals toward achieving the mission:

  • Nuclear Safety & Security Strategic Goal: Enhance nuclear security through defense, nonproliferation, and environmental efforts.
  • Energy Strategic Goal: Catalyze the timely, material, and efficient transformation of the nation’s energy system and secure U.S. leadership in energy technologies.
  • Science & Innovation Strategic Goal: Maintain a vibrant U.S. effort in science and engineering as a cornerstone of our economic prosperity with clear leadership in strategic areas.
  • Management and Operational Excellence Strategic Goal: Establish an operational and adaptable framework that combines the best wisdom of all Department stakeholders to maximize mission success.
The Secretary of Energy determines major energy policies and planning, and acts as the Department's main spokesperson. He or she ensures efficient communication and working relationships with federal, state, local and tribal governments, as well as the public. The secretary is the principal adviser to the president on national energy matters.
Term of Service
Secretary Home State Administration
1977 - 1979
James R. Schlesinger New York Carter
1979 - 1981
Charles W. Duncan Jr. Texas Carter
1981 - 1982
James B. Edwards South Carolina Reagan
1982 - 1985
Donald Paul Hodel Oregon Reagan
1985 - 1989
John S. Herrington California Reagan
1989 - 1993
James D. Watkins California G.H.W. Bush
1993 - 1997
Hazel R. O'Leary New Jersey Clinton
1997 - 1998
Federico F. Pe?a Colorado Clinton
1998 - 2001
Bill Richardson New Mexico Clinton
2001 -
Spencer Abraham Michigan G.W. Bush
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