A nuclear physicist who served as Mr. Obama’s second Secretary of Energy remains in the running to return to his old post. Dr. Moniz, now president and chief executive officer of the Energy Futures Initiative, a research organization, served Mr Biden as an informal advisor during the campaign, and several people who worked under him in the energy department said they would be excited to do so again .
But Dr. Moniz has critics. Liberal groups have protested some of the positions he has taken since leaving government, including a post on the board of directors of the Southern Company, an electricity and gas company. They also opposed his support for nuclear energy and carbon capture and storage as a means of combating climate change, believing that climate policy should only focus on renewable sources like wind and sun.
Although his greatest legacy is securing the Iranian nuclear deal, Dr. Moniz also played an important behind-the-scenes role in the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and sought to make clean energy a central part of the deal. Under Mission Innovation, a parallel agreement to the Paris Agreement, 19 nations and the United States agreed to double research and development spending on zero-carbon energy. President Trump effectively resigned from the pact when he abandoned the Paris Agreement.
Also in the race:
Dr. Majumdar, who currently leads Mr Biden’s transition team for the energy department, could become its secretary. Dr. Majumdar moved to the United States from India to do a PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of California at Berkeley and became the first director of the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Agency program, where he sought to build strong relationships with Republicans as well as Democrats . Currently, Dr. Majumdar the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford University.
Ms. Sherwood-Randall, one of the earliest Rhodes scientists, has a deep background in nuclear weapons, most of the work of the Department of Energy, and challenges facing the country’s power grid. Mrs. Sherwood-Randall was a former advisor to Mr. Biden when he was in the Senate. She served in both the Clinton and Obama administrations and worked on foreign policy and national security issues. From 2014 to 2017 she was Deputy Minister of Energy and headed the National Nuclear Security Administration. She also led an initiative to address the challenges facing the power grid.
White House climate coordinator
Ali A. Zaidi
New York State Assistant Secretary for Energy and Environment Mr. Zaidi is widely recognized as a forerunner in the role of domestic climate change coordinator. The new position would require someone who could work with cabinet secretaries and other high-profile figures like Mr. Kerry. Mr. Zaidi was the Assistant Director of the White House Office of Administration and Budget under Mr. Obama, where he helped develop the White House Climate Action Plan, a blueprint for reducing emissions.