David Huizenga, the No. 3 official at the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), will take over as acting Secretary of Energy until the Senate confirms President Biden’s nominee for the post, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D), the administration said Wednesday.
The Senate Energy Natural Resources Committee had not scheduled a nomination hearing for Granholm as of Thursday morning. Biden was sworn in as president at noon on Wednesday.
DoE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), where Huizenga is the associate principal deputy administrator, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the order of succession at the semiautonomous nuclear weapons agency. Huizenga was nominally in line to lead NNSA, after former Acting Administrator William Bookless resigned just before the inauguration.
Over at the Office of Environmental Management (EM), Ike White was running the agency’s legacy nuclear cleanup operations as senior adviser for environmental management to Undersecretary for Science Paul Dabbar, who published a farewell letter to DoE colleagues before the inauguration. Todd Shrader, principal deputy assistant secretary for environmental management, would be in line to lead EM on an acting basis, if White — advisor to a now-departed undersecretary — does not keep the job.
An updated EM chart posted Wednesday, still lists White in the top job and Shrader as second in command. There is one top line change from the last chart dated Jan. 4. Longtime agency hand Erik Olds is listed as the acting chief of staff. Thomas Mooney, who came over from the Pentagon within the past year, was previously in the job.
As with the Secretary of Energy, the Senate must confirm Biden’s choices to lead EM and the NNSA. The Biden administration had not nominated anyone for the top EM and NNSA posts as of Thursday morning.