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Former Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman was nominated by President Obama to be Deputy Secretary of Energy on April 20, 2009, and was confirmed by the United States Senate on May 18, 2009. Under the leadership of Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, Mr. Poneman also served as Chief Operating Officer of the Department. Between April 23, 2013, and May 21, 2013, Mr. Poneman served as Acting Secretary of Energy.
Mr. Poneman first joined the Department of Energy in 1989 as a White House Fellow. The next year he joined the National Security Council staff as Director of Defense Policy and Arms Control.
From 1993 through 1996, Mr. Poneman served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Nonproliferation and Export Controls at the National Security Council. His responsibilities included the development and implementation of U.S. policy in such areas as peaceful nuclear cooperation, missile technology, space-launch activities, sanctions determinations, chemical and biological arms control efforts, and conventional arms transfer policy. During this time, he also participated in negotiations and consultations with governments in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the former Soviet Union.
After leaving the White House, Mr. Poneman served as a member of the Commission to Assess the Organization of the Federal Government to Combat the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction and a number of other federal advisory panels.
Prior to assuming his responsibilities as Deputy Secretary, Mr. Poneman served as a principal of The Scowcroft Group for eight years, providing strategic advice to corporations on a wide variety of international projects and transactions. Between tours of government service he practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C. - first as an associate at Covington & Burling, later as a partner at Hogan & Hartson - assisting clients in regulatory, policy and transactional matters, international arbitration, commercial real estate financing, export controls, and sanctions and trade policy.
Mr. Poneman received A.B. and J.D. degrees with honors from Harvard University and an M.Litt. in Politics from Oxford University. He has published widely on national security issues and is the author of Nuclear Power in the Developing World and Argentina: Democracy on Trial. His third book, Going Critical: The First North Korean Nuclear Crisis (coauthored with Joel Wit and Robert Gallucci), received the 2005 Douglas Dillon Award for Distinguished Writing on American Diplomacy. Mr. Poneman is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.
Mr. Poneman lives in Virginia with his wife, Susan, and their three children.