Secretaries of Energy

Department of Energy SealThe Department of Energy's overarching mission is to advance the national, econonmic and energy security of the United States; to promote scientific and technological innovation in support of that mission; and to ensure the environmental cleanup of the national nuclear weapons complex. The department has four strategic goals toward achieving the mission:

  • Defense Strategic Goal: To protect national security by applying advanced science and nuclear technology to the nation’s defense.
  • Energy Strategic Goal: To protect national and economic security by promoting a diverse supply of reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy.
  • Science Strategic Goal: To protect national and economic security by providing world-class scientific research capacity and advancing scientific knowledge.
  • Environment Strategic Goal: To protect the environment by providing a responsible resolution to the environmental legacy of the Cold War and by providing for the permanent disposal of the nation’s high-level radioactive waste.

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~+mn~a Colorado Clinton
1998 - 2001
Bill Richardson New Mexico Clinton
2001 -
Spencer Abraham Michigan G.W. Bush

See cabinet officers sorted by administration.