White House to nominate new deputy energy secretary

July 8

President Obama will nominate Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall to be the next deputy secretary of energy, the White House said Tuesday.

Sherwood-Randall would replace Daniel B. Poneman, an arms control expert who has served in that position since 2009.

Sherwood-Randall is currently the White House coordinator for defense policy, countering weapons of mass destruction, and arms control, but she has served in a variety of other national security posts and in the 1990s worked closely with Vice President Biden, who was then a senator.

A White House official said that Sherwood-Randall “has had lead responsibility for developing and implementing policy on some of the toughest and most complex challenges we face . . . from getting chemical weapons out of Syria to advancing the nuclear security agenda.”

The official said some of those tasks overlapped with the Energy Department’s responsibility for maintaining the nation’s nuclear materials and weapons stockpile, the largest segment of the department’s budget. The official said she was “a non-partisan national security professional.”

Sherwood-Randall served as senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council from 2009 to 2013. Before joining the White House, she was a Stanford University senior research scholar from 2000 to 2008. From 1997 through 2008, she was a founding principal in the Harvard-Stanford Preventive Defense Project.

From 1994 to 1996, she served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia. From 1990 to 1993, Sherwood-Randall was co-founder and associate director of the Harvard Strengthening Democratic Institutions Project at the John F. Kennedy School of Government.

From 1986 to 1987, she served as a foreign and defense policy adviser to Biden. Sherwood-Randall received her BA from Harvard University and her doctorate as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

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