University of Delaware
delware environmental institute

A Conversation with Ernest Moniz


Photo of former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz

This event is being rescheduled!
Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest J. Moniz will be the guest speaker at a public event, sponsored jointly by the Biden Institute, the Delaware Environmental Institute, and the Delaware Energy Institute at the University of Delaware. The event was originally announced for Feb. 6, but is being rescheduled so that former Vice President Joe Biden is also able to participate. We will post updated information here once we have arranged a new date and time. 

Moniz served as the thirteenth energy secretary during the second half of the Obama administration from May 2013 until January 2017. During his tenure, he advanced energy technology innovation, nuclear security and strategic stability, cutting-edge capabilities for the American scientific community, and environmental stewardship.

Since leaving government, Moniz has devoted time to two nonprofit organizations. He is the president and CEO of the Energy Futures Initiative, which conducts technical, economic, financial and policy analyses focused on finding energy solutions that are effective, pragmatic and acceptable to the broadest possible set of stakeholders.

He is also the CEO and co-chair of the board of directors of the Nuclear Threat Initiative, which works to prevent catastrophic attacks with weapons of mass destruction and disruption, including nuclear, biological, radiological, chemical and cyber weapons.

Moniz will be interviewed by Cristina Archer, associate professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment and board member of the Center for Carbon-free Power Integration (CCPI) at UD. Archer and Moniz will focus their conversation on what steps are necessary and possible to ensure that society’s needs for energy and a healthy environment are sustainably met. The audience will also have an opportunity to participate in a questions and answer session.


About Ernest Moniz

As energy secretary, Moniz strengthened the Department of Energy (DOE) strategic partnership with its 17 national laboratories and with the Department of Defense and the broader national security establishment. Specific accomplishments during his tenure included producing analytically based energy policy proposals that attracted bipartisan support, leading an international initiative that placed energy science and technology innovation at the center of the global response to climate change, and negotiating the Iran nuclear agreement alongside the secretary of state.

He served on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty from 1973 until becoming energy secretary in 2013 and is not the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems emeritus and special adviser to the MIT president. He is the inaugural Distinguished Fellow of the Emerson Collective.

Moniz served in government as DOE under secretary from 1997 until January 2001 with science, energy and nuclear security responsibilities and as associate director for science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1995 to 1997 with responsibility for the physical, life and social sciences. 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.

At MIT, Moniz was the founding director of the MIT Energy Initiative and director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment. He was head of the Department of Physics from 1991–95 and 1997 and director of the Bates Linear Accelerator Center from 1983–91. His physics research centered on developing the theoretical framework for understanding intermediate energy electron and meson interactions with atomic nuclei. Since 2001, his primary research focus has been energy technology and policy, including a leadership role in MIT multidisciplinary technology and policy studies addressing pathways to a low-carbon world.

Moniz received his bachelor of science degree summa cum laude in physics from Boston College, a doctorate in theoretical physics from Stanford University, and nine honorary doctorates from universities around the world.