WASHINGTON, D.C.—More than a year after his nomination was announced, Franklin “Lynn” Orr has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the under secretary for science and energy at the U.S. Department of Energy. Orr was confirmed Thursday.
As under secretary for science and energy, Orr will oversee all of DOE’s science research programs, including a majority of the national laboratories.
This position is part of the department’s s recent reorganization, which expanded the under secretary for science role to encompass both science and energy, a DOE press release said. Orr’s role will include oversight of research in the Offices of Science, Fossil Energy, Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Nuclear Energy, Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, Indian Energy, and the Technology Transfer Coordinator.
Oak Ridge National Laboratory is an Office of Science lab.
Orr has been a faculty member at Stanford University for almost 30 years. In 2009, he helped create the Stanford Precourt Institute for Energy, which he has led since its founding.
Before that, he served as the dean of the Stanford School of Earth Sciences and later helped start the Global Climate and Energy project—a 10-year project to research technology options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy use, the press release said.
“Lynn Orr is an outstanding scientist and has successfully led a major multidisciplinary program on energy sources, technology, and analysis at one of the top research universities,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said. “This experience will serve him well as the DOE under secretary for science and energy. I look forward to working closely with Lynn to shape the nation’s clean energy agenda, and to sustain American leadership in science. I thank the Senate for approving his nomination.”
The press release said Orr has taken part in various studies conducted by the National Academies’ National Research Council. He is also a senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment.
Orr received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Stanford University and his doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota.
Orr has been an associate professor and professor in the Department of Petroleum Engineering since 1985. He served as the director of the Global Climate and Energy Project at Stanford from 2002 to 2008. He was the dean of the School of Earth Sciences at Stanford from 1994 to 2002, and the chairman of the Department of Petroleum Engineering from 1991 to 1994. Orr held several other research positions from 1970 to 1985 in New Mexico, Texas, and Washington, D.C.