Ernest J. Moniz
Nuclear Threat Initiative
U.S. Secretary of Energy; Physicist; Academic research institute administrator and founder; Educator
Public Affairs, Business, and Administration
Public Affairs and Public Policy
Ernest Moniz is the U.S. Secretary of Energy for the Obama administration, while also dually serving as a physicist at MIT who received his Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics from Stanford University in 1972. He joined the faculty of MIT in 1973, serving as Head of the Department of Physics from 1991 to 1995 and as Director of the Bates Linear Accelerator Center. He also co-chairs the MIT research council. Moniz served in the Clinton administration as Associate Director for Science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the Executive Office of the President from 1995 to 1997. He also worked in the United States Department of Energy, serving as Under Secretary of Energy from 1997 to 2001. Moniz is one of the founding members of The Cyprus Institute, through which he and other scholars undertook the coordination, research and planning of the project involving science and technology education and development in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. His principal research contributions have been in theoretical nuclear physics and in energy technology and policy studies. He currently serves on President Obama's Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST). Moniz is an advocate for a low-carbon future and has, in a variety of forums, promoted the use of nuclear energy. He also sees the growth in domestic shale-gas production over the past few years as paradigm-shifting, although he sees it as a bridge to a low-carbon future that would eventually be phased out. He has shown a remarkable ability to discern how best to bring groundbreaking research to bear on both immediate and longer-term energy problems, says Academy Fellow and former MIT president Susan Hockfield.