Jennifer M. Granholm was sworn in Feb. 25 as the 16th Secretary of Energy by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris, after a confirmation vote of 64-35 in the U.S. Senate.
Secretary Granholm is only the second woman to lead the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).
“I am humbled by the faith President Biden has placed in me to lead this incredible team at the Department of Energy,” said Secretary Granholm. “DOE is powered by brilliant scientists, engineers, and energy policy experts who are the very best for the job we’ve been tasked with: to develop and deploy new clean energy technologies that will achieve the Administration’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 and secure our nation’s future. I am so ready to work alongside them as we kickstart America’s clean energy revolution, create millions of good-paying union jobs, and deliver benefits to American workers and communities across the nation.”
After her swearing-in ceremony, Secretary Granholm released a video message and blog post explaining how DOE will tackle climate change by deploying clean energy solutions that deliver cheap, abundant and clean power to fuel America’s clean energy revolution.
Previously, Granholm was the first woman elected Governor of Michigan, serving two terms from 2003 to 2011. Facing economic downturns caused by the Great Recession and the meltdown in the automotive and manufacturing sectors, Granholm responded by leading efforts to diversify the state’s economy, strengthen its auto industry, preserve the manufacturing sector, and add emerging sectors — such as clean energy — to Michigan’s economic portfolio. Today, one-third of all North American electric vehicle battery production takes place in Michigan, it is one of the top five states for clean energy patents, and 126,000 Michiganders were employed in the clean energy sector before COVID-19.
After her time as governor, Granholm joined the faculty of the University of California, Berkeley as a Distinguished Professor of Practice in the Goldman School of Public Policy, focusing on the intersection of law, clean energy, manufacturing, policy and industry. She also served as an advisor to the Clean Energy Program of the Pew Charitable Trusts.
Granholm was also the first woman elected Attorney General of Michigan, serving from 1998 to 2002. She began her career in public service as a judicial clerk for Michigan’s 6th Circuit Court of Appeals, became a federal prosecutor in Detroit in 1990, and was appointed Wayne County Corporation Counsel in 1994.
Granholm, an immigrant from Canada, is an honors graduate of the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School.
DOE is tasked with overseeing the U.S. energy supply, maintaining a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent and reducing the threat of nuclear proliferation, carrying out the environmental clean-up from the Cold War nuclear mission, and running the 17 National Laboratories.