July 8, 2014 / 6:42 PM / 3 years ago

Obama to nominate nuclear expert for Energy Department deputy

WASHINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday will nominate a nuclear non-proliferation expert for the position of No. 2 official at the Department of Energy, a White House official said.

The nominee, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, would replace Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman, a nuclear expert who held the job for five years before announcing in June his intention to leave the agency.

Sherwood-Randall, currently the White House coordinator for defense policy, has worked on getting chemical weapons out of Syria, nuclear security, and has previous experience at the Defense Department.

If confirmed by the Senate, Sherwood-Randall would work with the Defense Department to manage the country’s nuclear weapons as well as its nuclear laboratories - two areas that receive the largest portion of the Energy Department’s budget.

Sherwood-Randall would be taking up the job as the United States decides how to use its energy boom to affect change abroad, including ways to provide Europe with alternative energy supplies beyond Russia. The United States is expected to soon become the world’s top oil producer, surpassing both Russia and Saudi Arabia. (Reporting by Timothy Gardner and Jeff Mason; Editing by Ros Krasny and Gunna Dickson)

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