Deputy Energy secretary to step down

Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Poneman will step down this fall after five years at the Department of Energy (DOE).

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced Poneman’s departure in a letter to department staff Thursday morning.

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“It has been my pleasure to work with Dan in many settings over a couple of decades — from the Clinton White House, to publishing together on nuclear energy and nonproliferation, now as Secretary and Deputy Secretary,” Moniz said in his email. “He’s a man of integrity, intellect, and profound sense of duty to our country.”

Poneman came to the DOE in 2009 as deputy to then-secretary Steven Chu.

Moniz said Poneman was instrumental in the department's role in crisis negotiations with Iran in 2009, the aftermath of the Fukushima Daiichi disaster in 2011 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Poneman acted briefly as secretary in 2013 between Chu’s departure and Moniz’s confirmation. He then agreed to remain as deputy for a year.

Poneman started in the federal government in 1989 as a White House fellow at the DOE. He later was a top official at the National Security Council.

“I thank Dan for his first five years of service, with confidence that in the coming months he will continue to contribute to the department’s important work at the high standard that he has led us to expect,” Moniz wrote.

The White House has not indicated who it will nominate to replace Poneman.