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Christopher A. Smith - Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy

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Christopher Smith serves as Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the U. S. Department of Energy.  President Obama nominated Smith for the position in November 2013.  He was confirmed by the U. S. Senate and sworn into office in December 2014.

As Assistant Secretary, Smith leads the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, including scientists and engineers working at eleven sites across the United States.  In this capacity, he oversees the Department’s fossil energy’s research and development program (coal, oil and natural gas) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory.  He is also responsible for the U.S. Petroleum Reserves, the largest strategic petroleum stockpile in the world.

Prior to his Senate confirmation, Smith served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy and as Deputy Assistant Secretary  for Oil and Natural Gas. During that tenure, he served as the Designated Federal Official for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, established by President Obama to investigate the root causes of the Gulf oil spill.

Before his appointment in October 2009, Smith served in managerial and analytical positions of increasing responsibility in the private sector. Most recently he spent eleven years with two major international oil companies focused primarily on upstream business development and LNG trading, including three years negotiating production and transportation agreements in Bogotá, Colombia.

Smith began his career as an officer in the U. S. Army and served tours in Korea and Hawaii. He subsequently worked for Citibank and JPMorgan in New York City and London in the area of emerging markets and currency derivatives. Smith holds a bachelor's degree in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Cambridge University.