Smith confirmed to head DOE’s Fossil Energy office

Dec. 16, 2014

WASHINGTON – Christopher A. Smith was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday, December 16th, 2014, as the Department of Energy’s Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy.

“Chris Smith’s depth of expertise and experience in the fossil energy field make him extremely well qualified for this position. I am confident that he will continue to serve the Department, President Obama and the nation with the same dedication he has shown over the past five years,” said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “I thank the Senate for their action to approve Chris’s nomination, and I look forward to continuing my work with him, to ensure the U.S. can continue to rely on clean, affordable energy from our nation’s fossil fuel resources.” 

As Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy, Smith is responsible for the Office of Fossil Energy’s Research and Development program, encompassing coal, oil and natural gas, along with the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Prior to his Senate confirmation, Smith served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas. During that tenure he also served as the Designated Federal Official for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling that was established by President Obama to investigate the root causes of the gulf oil spill.

Prior to joining the Department, Smith served in managerial and analytical positions in the private sector. He spent 11 years with two major international oil companies focused primarily on upstream business development and LNG trading, including three years negotiating production and transportation agreements in Bogotá, Columbia.

Smith began his career as an officer in the U. S. Army, with tours in Korea and Hawaii. He subsequently worked for Citibank and JPMorgan in New York City and London in the area of emerging markets and currency derivatives. Smith holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering Management from the United States Military Academy at West Point and a Master’s of Business Administration from Cambridge University.