Sam Bodman has been picked by US president George Bush to replace Spencer Abraham as energy secretary.
Bodman comes from serving Bush as deputy treasury secretary and has held top-level executive roles in commerce, notably working for almost 15 years as chair of Cabot, a hi-tech chemical manufacturer that also imports liquefied natural gas to the USA. Bodman has also taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
While announcing his decision, Bush said “We will continue to work closely with Congress to produce comprehensive legislation that moves America toward greater energy independence.” One of Bodman’s main responsibilities will be to ease the passage of Bush’s currently stalled energy bill, though many observers suggest that vice president Dick Cheney is the leading voice on energy matters in the White House.
The US upper house, the Senate, must still confirm the appointment but Pete Domenici, chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said that Bodman's financial, technical and managerial experience would make this a formality.
The Boston Globe reported that Bodman was not thought to be a front-runner for the position until he was personally recommended to Bush for the job by outgoing commerce secretary Donald Evans.
Other recent DoE appointees include:
- John Spitaleria Shaw as assistant secretary for Environment, Safety and Health.
- Karen Alderman Harbert as assistant secretary for International Affairs and Domestic Policy.
- Susan Johnson Grant as the department's chief financial officer.
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