President-elect Joe Biden has nominated Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan, as secretary of energy.
In her new role, Granholm will oversee the operations of the U.S. Department of Energy. She will be responsible for managing the country's nuclear weapons program, energy research and conservation initiatives, and its energy policy, including the promotion of innovative energy technologies.
Granholm served two terms as the governor of Michigan between 2003 and 2010, becoming the first woman ever to lead the state. She played a key role in guiding the state, which is heavily dependent on the automobile industry, through the Great Recession. Working with the Obama administration, Granholm helped to secure a 2009 bailout of the auto industry, which included investments in clean energy.
Prior to her time as Michigan's governor, Granholm became the first woman to serve as the attorney general of Michigan in 1998. She is also the founder of the American Jobs Project, a multi-state, multi-university initiative promoting technological advancements and clean energy policies to stimulate job creation.
Granholm has the support of environmental groups and has been an advocate for clean energy policy throughout her career. She is expected to play a key role in carrying out Biden's climate policies and push for a clean energy economy. But her support of the auto industry through the recession will also bolster Biden's appeal with blue-collar workers and the U.S. manufacturing sector.
Early Career and Education
Granholm began her career as a judicial clerk for Michigan's 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. In 1990, she became a federal prosecutor in Detroit. Four years later, she was appointed counsel of the Wayne County Corporation.
She received her bachelor of arts degree from University of California, Berkeley, and her JD from Harvard Law School.