THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON NAMES AMBASSADOR BILL RICHARDSON AS SECRETARY OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
The President today announced his intent to nominate Ambassador Bill Richardson as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Ambassador Bill Richardson, of New Mexico, is currently the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, a member of the President's Cabinet and of the National Security Council. He has twice been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. Ambassador Richardson has worked to free hostages and prisoners from Croatia, Burma, Cuba, Iraq, North Korea and Sudan, and negotiated the peaceful transfer of power in the former Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Prior to his work at the United Nations, Ambassador Richardson served New Mexico's 3rd Congressional District for eight terms. As a member of the U.S. Congress, he held one of the highest ranking posts in the House Democratic Leadership serving as Chief Deputy Whip. As a member of the Commerce Committee, he took a leadership role in the U.S. Department of Energy's Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories. Ambassador Richardson also was a member of the Resources Committee, the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and the Helsinki Commission on Human Rights. He also chaired the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.
Ambassador Richardson received a B.A. from Tufts University and an M.A. from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. In addition, he has received a number of honorary degrees and has been presented with many honors and awards during his career, such as Mexico's highest honor given to non-citizens, the Aztec Golden Eagle award.
As Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, Ambassador Richardson will direct and supervise the Department's administration, decide major policy issues, act as the principal energy advisor to the President, and serve as the principal spokesman for the Department.