A Conversation with Former Secretary of Energy, Dr. Ernest Moniz

May 11, 2018

There is a critical connection between America’s fiscal outlook, energy security and role in the world. Dr. Moniz, a nuclear physicist who served as the thirtieth United States Secretary of Energy, brings a unique understanding of these interrelated challenges and trends. The discussion covered how domestic energy investment supports strength at home and abroad, future funding needs for America’s nuclear arsenal, as well as the impact of rising debt on America’s foreign policy.

This interview with Dr. Ernest Moniz was conducted by Michael A. Peterson as part of the 2018 Fiscal Summit.

Dr. Ernest J. Moniz

Co-Chair and Chief Executive Officer, Nuclear Threat Initiative; Chief Executive Officer, Energy Futures Initiative; Former U.S. Secretary of Energy (2013–2017)

Ernest J. Moniz is Co-Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the Nuclear Threat Initiative. He served as U.S. Secretary of Energy from 2013–2017 and previously served as Department of Energy (DOE) Under Secretary from 1997–2001.

As Secretary, Moniz advanced energy technology innovation, nuclear security and strategic stability, cutting-edge capabilities for the American scientific research community, and environmental stewardship. He strengthened the DOE strategic partnership with its seventeen national laboratories and with the Department of Defense and the broader national security establishment. He was a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and of the Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee from 2009 to 2013, and he served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future that provided advice to the President and the Secretary of Energy.

From 1973 through 2013, Moniz served on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty and is now the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems emeritus and Special Advisor to the MIT President. At MIT, Moniz also was Head of the Department of Physics during 1991–1995 and 1997 and Director of the Bates Linear Accelerator Center from 1983–1991.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the International Advisory Board of the Atlantic Council, and he is a non-resident senior fellow at the Harvard Belfer Center. Among other awards, he is the recipient of the Distinguished Public Service Medals of the Department of Defense and of the Navy. Moniz also is CEO of the non-profit Energy Futures Initiative.


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