President Barack Obama on Tuesday nominated Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, a presidential aide and national security official, to become deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, she would replace Daniel Poneman, who is stepping down from the No. 2 job this fall after five years.
Sherwood-Randall currently serves as special assistant to the president and White House coordinator for defense policy, countering weapons of mass destruction, and arms control, a position she has held since 2013. She served as special assistant to the president and senior director for European affairs at the National Security Council from 2009 to 2013.
The New York Times reported that Sherwood-Randall, 54, would bring a background in nuclear weapons and nonproliferation strategy to the department, which has split responsibilities for energy strategy and the country’s weapons and counter-proliferation work. It would be her third job in the Obama administration.
The newspaper said Sherwood-Randall oversaw the effort to get chemical weapons out of Syria and the development of the administration’s policy for dealing with the nuclear arsenal.
Poneman has been U.S. deputy secretary of energy since May 2009, and he also served as chief operating officer under former Energy Secretary Steven Chu. Poneman has been focused on nuclear safety and proliferation, among other issues, the Times said. He briefly served as acting secretary in 2013 before the confirmation of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. [Read more…]