Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz has hired three senior advisers in his first weeks atop the Department of Energy and expects President Obama will nominate officials for nearly 10 Senate-confirmed positions that are vacant or being filled in an acting capacity, he told reporters yesterday.
Positions that need to be filled range from the undersecretary for science, which is vacant, to the assistant secretary for fossil energy, which is being filled by Christopher Smith in an acting capacity, to the director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, which also is unfilled, according to a review of DOE's website.
Moniz, who won unanimous Senate confirmation last month, said he expected nominations for the close to 10 unconfirmed spots to be made by September at the latest. In the meantime, he is hiring senior advisers who do not require Senate confirmation.
"These are highly accomplished people, so [Deputy Secretary] Dan Poneman and I aren't home alone entirely," Moniz told reporters yesterday, after testifying on Capitol Hill.
Three people have been hired already, and Moniz said more would be joining DOE in the coming weeks. The newest hires are Melanie Kenderdine, John MacWilliams and Bruce Held, Moniz said.
Kenderdine has worked with Moniz at DOE in the Clinton administration as well as at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Energy Initiative, which Moniz directed before returning to DOE last month.
MacWilliams was a "very successful energy investor at Goldman Sachs" and ran his own funds, giving him a "tremendous amount" of knowledge "about how the system works," Moniz said.
Held previously served at DOE as head of the counterintelligence office and returned last Thursday as an associate deputy secretary, where he will assist with efforts to reorganize the department, Moniz said. Kenderdine and MacWilliams' formal titles have not yet been determined, a DOE spokeswoman said.
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