Earlier today, President Obama announced the nomination of three cabinet-level appointments to his Administration: Ernest Moniz as Secretary of Energy; Gina McCarthy as Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency; and Sylvia Matthews Burwell as Director of the Office of Management and Budget.
Dr. Moniz, a professor of nuclear physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, currently leads the MIT Energy Initiative. He previously served as Undersecretary of Energy and is advisor to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). Dr. Moniz is viewed as a pragmatic policymaker who balances hard science with real-world realities. Many view his political instincts as keener than his predecessor’s.
McCarthy currently serves as Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation at the EPA. Prior to her work at the EPA, she was appointed to senior environmental positions in Massachusetts and Connecticut. McCarthy served as commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, and served in various regulatory roles under Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Though she has worked under Republican leadership in those states, she is viewed skeptically by many business interests in Washington – in particular the coal industry – and is expected to face a tough nomination battle in the Senate.
In choosing Burwell to head the OMB, the President has selected a nominee with previous White House experience and who has worked closely with the newly-confirmed Secretary of the Treasury, Jack Lew. Burwell currently serves as President of the Walmart Foundation, and previously worked with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Both Republicans and Democrats have announced support for her nomination.
All three nominees will need to be vetted and confirmed by the Senate over the coming weeks and months.