Federal Relations

Obama Nominates Two from Academia

The White House nominated two university professors to lead the Energy Department’s science operations. Franklin Orr, a Stanford University professor of petroleum engineering, has been nominated to be DOE’s undersecretary for science and energy, a recently redesigned position. Orr also directs Stanford’s Precourt Institute for Energy. The new undersecretary job includes all five energy offices, such as nuclear and fossil energy, as well as the Science office, which previously fell into separate positions that have now been combined. Marc Kastner, who is dean of MIT’s School of Science, has been tapped to be director of DOE’s Office of Science. Kastner, a former head of MIT’s physics department where Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz had been faculty member for decades, has worked in materials science and superconducting electronics.