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Senate OKs Moniz for DOE; two alums get major US posts

Professor Ernest Moniz was confirmed by the US Senate last week as the undersecretary for the Department of Energy (DOE) and Michael Telson, who has four degrees from MIT, was confirmed as the DOE's chief financial officer.

Also last week, President Clinton named Northwestern University Professor Rebecca M. Blank, who received the PhD in economics at MIT in 1983, as a member of the Council of Economic Advisors. The three-person council provides the President with economic analysis and advice on the development and implementation of a wide range of domestic and international economic policy issues. Current members include Jeffrey Frankel (MIT PhD '78), and chair Janet Yellen, who received the PhD from Yale.

Professor Moniz, head of the Department of Physics until his appointment and former director of MIT's Bates Linear Accelerator Center, told the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources at his September hearing that basic science and technology is the foundation for DOE's "very important missions and responsibilities for advancing Americans' security and quality of life: clean and secure energy sources; environmental stewardship and remediation; a safe, secure and reliable nuclear stockpile; and nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

He said Secretary of Energy Federico Pena has asked him to help both with management reform and with forging closer collaborations among the national laboratories administered by the DOE.

Mr. Telson, who has served in Congressional and executive positions for 24 years, has dealt with energy issues in his work with the former Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs and the House Budget Committee. He has been at the Department of Energy since 1995, where he was a special assistant to Deputy Secretary Charles Curtis, and served as a special assistant to Secretary Pena until his confirmation.

Mr. Telson holds the SB, SM and PhD in electrical engineering from MIT, and the SM in management from the Sloan School of Management with a concentration in finance.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on November 12, 1997.

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