WASHINGTON, D.C. — Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm issued the following statement today on President Biden’s intent to nominate Dr. Geraldine Richmond for Under Secretary for Science, Andrew Light for Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, and Sam Walsh for General Counsel.

“I am thrilled by President Biden’s decision to nominate Dr. Geraldine Richmond, Andrew Light, and Sam Walsh for these key leadership positions at the Department of Energy. From solving environmental challenges through the power of the basic sciences, to guiding some of America’s most critical international climate negotiations, to helping the federal government navigate the clean energy transition, each of these nominees brings a wealth of experience that will be instrumental as we work towards achieving the President’s ambitious climate goals. I’m so grateful that they’re willing to serve our nation, and look forward to their speedy confirmation.”

About Dr. Geraldine Richmond

Geraldine Richmond is the Presidential Chair in Science and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oregon. Bridging the fields of chemistry and physics, Richmond’s research focuses on understanding the molecular characteristics of water surfaces, studies that have relevance to environmental issues such as oil remediation, atmospheric chemistry and alternative energy sources. Her teaching and extensive outreach efforts have focused on science communication and building a strong and inclusive workforce. She has been honored by numerous honors and awards including the National Medal of Science from President Obama (2016), the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Clinton (1997) and the American Chemical Society’s highest honor, the Priestley Medal (2018). Richmond is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Chemical Society, the American Physical Society and the Association for Women in Science.

Richmond has served in many leadership roles throughout her career including as Chair of the Department of Energy's Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee (1998-2003), as U.S. Science Envoy to the Lower Mekong River Countries of Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Burma and Thailand (2015-2016) and as President of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2015) and Sigma Xi, the Honorary Scientific Research Society (2019-2020). She was appointed to the National Science Board by President Obama (2012-2018) and reappointed by President Trump (2018-present). Richmond is the Founding Director of COACh (1998-present), a grass-roots organization that has helped over 25,000 women scientists and engineers in career advancement in the U.S. and over two dozen developing countries. A native of Kansas, Richmond received her B.S. in chemistry from Kansas State University in 1975 and her Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley in 1980. 

About Andrew Light

Andrew Light, Ph.D., joined the Biden Administration in January as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for International Affairs at the Department of Energy. Currently, Light is on a leave of absence from his position as University Professor of Philosophy, Public Policy, and Atmospheric Sciences at George Mason University. He previously served as a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the World Resources Institute in Washington, D.C. In both positions, he worked at the intersection of U.S. and international climate and energy policy. From 2013-2016 he served as Senior Adviser and India Counselor to the U.S. Special Envoy on Climate Change and on the staff of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Office of Policy Planning in the U.S. Department of State. In this capacity, he was Director of the U.S.-India Joint Working Group for Combating Climate Change, Chair of the U.S. Interagency Climate Working Group for negotiation of the Sustainable Development Goals, and served on the senior strategy team for the United Nations (UN) climate negotiations, among other duties. In recognition of this work, Light shared a Superior Honor Award from the U.S. Department of State in July 2016 for “contributions to the U.S. effort that made the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris, where the landmark Paris Agreement was concluded, a historic success.”

Light has authored or co-authored dozens of policy reports on international energy and climate issues, and he has been a long-time champion of work demonstrating the benefits of international climate and energy cooperation on the employment opportunities, security, environmental quality, and health of the American people. As the grandson of two West Virginia coal miners, his understanding of the vital necessity for a strong U.S. energy economy is rooted in his childhood. He grew up in rural Georgia, where he formed an abiding appreciation of the environment, completing his undergraduate degree at Mercer University, graduate studies at the University of California at Riverside, and a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Alberta. He lives with his family in Washington, D.C.

About Sam Walsh

Samuel T. Walsh is an attorney and former Deputy General Counsel for Energy Policy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In his more than six years at DOE during the Obama Administration he also served as Associate General Counsel and Senior Legal Advisor to the General Counsel. Walsh is currently a lawyer in private practice at Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP. Prior to his service at DOE, he also worked as an associate in the energy group at Hogan Lovells LLP and as a law clerk to the Hon. Judge David S. Tatel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Walsh holds a B.A. from Yale College, an M.P.A. from the Harvard Kennedy School, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Originally from New York, Walsh now lives in Washington D.C. with his wife and two children.

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