Obama taps BP scientist for green energy post

President Obama will nominate top BP scientist Ellen D. Williams to lead the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), which is the Energy Department program that supports research into “breakthrough” technologies.

ARPA-E — which was first established in 2007 but didn’t receive funding until 2009 — invests in "high-risk, high-reward" projects to develop "transformational" energy production and storage methods.

Here’s more on Williams, via the White House:

Dr. Ellen D. Williams is the Chief Scientist for BP, a position she has held since 2010. She is currently on a leave of absence from the University of Maryland where she has served as a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Physics and the Institute for Physical Science and Technology since 2000. Dr. Williams has served as a Professor in the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland since 1991. She founded the University of Maryland Materials Research Science and Engineering Center and served as its Director from 1996 through 2009. Dr. Williams received a B.S. in Chemistry from Michigan State University and a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology.

The White House will also nominate a senior Defense Department official, Madelyn Creedon, to be principal deputy administrator of the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

She’s currently the assistant secretary of Defense for global strategic affairs. Before that, Creedon spent a decade as Democratic staff counsel on the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The NNSA manages the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile and has several nuclear nonproliferation programs.