Berkeley scholar Jennifer Granholm to serve as Biden energy secretary

President-elect Joe Biden has nominated two-term Michigan governor and UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy (GSPP) faculty member Jennifer Granholm to lead the U.S. Department of Energy.

“I’m so grateful to Berkeley and the Goldman School of Public Policy for giving me the ability to access great research talent and fabulous grad students passionate about clean energy,” said Granholm. “I will carry their hopes for a clean energy future with me to Washington, and if I’m confirmed, will focus with zeal on deploying clean energy in every pocket of the country, with an emphasis on communities that have been hardest hit by economic, racial and environmental injustice.”

Granholm is an expert on politics and clean energy policy who teaches Berkeley courses on clean energy, policy innovation and communication. She is also a senior research fellow at the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute and the Berkeley Center for Information Technology Research in the Interests of Society (CITRIS). If confirmed, Granholm will oversee 17 national laboratories, a wide range of energy research initiatives and the National Nuclear Security Administration, which is the agency within the DOE that oversees the nation’s nuclear stockpile.

“I’m very pleased to see that Gov. Granholm has been nominated to be secretary of energy in the Biden administration,” said Henry E. Brady, dean of the Goldman School. “At the DOE, she will be guiding one of the major engines for innovation in the United States. She is smart, experienced, caring and committed to creating a clean energy future with lots of high-paying manufacturing jobs.”

“The Department of Energy is going to be central to almost everything in the Biden-Harris plan, from energy transformation to re-entering the Paris Climate Accords,” said Goldman School professor Dan Kammen, chair of the Energy and Resources Group. “We’re also going to need a huge infusion of attention and effort to be put into creating jobs. You need someone who can integrate all that together. That fits Jennifer Granholm to a T. I’m just so impressed that they made this choice. I think she’s ideal for the job at this time.”

If confirmed, Granholm would be the second Berkeley scholar to be named to a Biden administration cabinet post, after Berkeley Haas Professor Emeritus Janet Yellen, who was tapped for treasury secretary.