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Senate Confirms DOE Nominees Daniel Poneman, David Sandalow, Kristina Johnson, Steve Koonin, Scott Harris, and Ines Triay

May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

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WASHINGTON, D.C. --  This week, the Senate confirmed six DOE nominees, including Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman, Under Secretary for Energy Kristina Johnson, and Under Secretary for Science Steven Koonin.  Also confirmed this week were Scott Blake Harris, General Counsel; David Sandalow, Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs; and Ines Triay, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management.

Secretary Chu said, "We are fortunate to have such talented and dedicated leaders joining our team at the Department of Energy.  The Department has set aggressive goals for creating green jobs, addressing our climate crisis and putting the country on a path to energy independence, and these confirmations are an important step toward reaching those goals."

Additional information is as follows:

Since 2001, Daniel B. Poneman was a Principal of The Scowcroft Group, an international business advisory firm based in Washington, D.C.  Prior to that he was a partner in the law firm of Hogan & Hartson. From 1993 through 1996, Poneman served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Nonproliferation and Export Controls at the National Security Council. He joined the NSC staff in 1990 as Director of Defense Policy and Arms Control, after serving as a White House Fellow in the Department of Energy. Poneman coauthored Going Critical: The First North Korean Nuclear Crisis, which received the 2005 Douglas Dillon Award for Distinguished Writing on American Diplomacy.  He received A.B. and J.D. degrees with honors from Harvard, and an M.Litt. in politics from Oxford University.

Kristina M. Johnson was previously the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs of Johns Hopkins University. Prior to that, Johnson served as the Dean of Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering from 1999-2007 where she helped to set up interdisciplinary efforts in photonics, bioengineering and biologically inspired materials, and energy and the environment. Before that she was on the faculty of the University of Colorado, Boulder from 1985-1999 where she led an NSF Engineering Research Center and involved engineers, mathematicians, physicists, chemists and psychologists in working to make computers faster and better connected. Johnson is an electrical engineer with more than 129 US and foreign patents or patents pending.

Dr. Steven E. Koonin was previously Chief Scientist for BP, plc, where he was responsible for guiding the company's long-range technology strategy, particularly in alternative and renewable energy sources.  Koonin joined BP in 2004 following a 29-year career at the California Institute of Technology as a Professor of Theoretical Physics, including a 9-year term as the Institute's Provost. He has served on numerous advisory bodies for the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, and the Department of Energy and its various national laboratories.  Koonin's research interests have included theoretical and computational physics, as well as global environmental science.   He did his undergraduate work at Caltech and has a PhD from MIT.

Scott Blake Harris was Managing Partner of Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, a Washington, D.C. law firm with nationally known telecommunications, litigation, and appellate practices. From 1994 to 1996, Mr. Harris served as the first chief of the International Bureau at the Federal Communications Commission. Before joining the Commission, he was Chief Counsel for Export Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Prior to government service, Mr. Harris was a partner at the law firm of Williams & Connolly. Mr. Harris is a magna cum laude graduate of both Brown University and Harvard Law School.

David Sandalow was most recently Energy & Environment Scholar and a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy Studies Program of the Brookings Institution.  He is the author of Freedom from Oil (2008) and has written widely on energy and environmental policy.  Previously, Sandalow served as Assistant Secretary of State for Oceans, Environment & Science; Senior Director for Environmental Affairs, National Security Council; Associate Director for the Global Environment, White House Council on Environmental Quality, and Executive Vice President, World Wildlife Fund-US.  Sandalow is a graduate of Yale College (BA Philosophy) and the University of Michigan Law School (JD).

Dr. Ines Triay spent 14 years at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico before moving to the Department of Energy, first in the Carlsbad field office and then in the Washington, DC headquarters. In 2005, Triay became the Chief Operating Officer for Environmental Management, and she was named to the top career position there in October, 2007. In this capacity, she served as the acting Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management since November, 2008. Triay was born in Cuba and came to the US when she was 3 years old. Raised in Puerto Rico, she earned her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Miami, Florida and conducted her post-doctoral studies at Los Alamos.

Media contact(s):

(202) 586-4940

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