SEAS Dean Appointed To Advise Energy Secretary

Cherry A. Murray, Dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences since 2009, has been appointed to the U.S. Secretary of Energy Advisory Board, the U.S. Department of Energy announced in August.

In that role she, along with the 18 other scientists, engineers, and former government officials drawn from a variety of institutions, will advise U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz on issues ranging from research activities to national security policy.

Murray will sit on the science subcommittee of the board and will take part in quarterly meetings.

Although her new appointment represents an additional commitment outside her role as dean, Murray noted that her involvement in the board might foster connections that could benefit SEAS affiliates.

“I believe that serving on committees like this is beneficial to Harvard: to be engaged in Washington and to be able to connect SEAS faculty and students with people in government and at other important science and engineering institutions,” Murray wrote in an email.


This is not the first time Murray has been asked to serve in an advisory role in government. In June 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Murray to the national commission that investigated the BP oil spill to prevent future spills from offshore drilling. In January 2011, the seven-member committee released its final report to the President, and Murray’s involvement ended shortly thereafter.

Since 2008, Murray has also served as chair of the National Research Council’s Division of Engineering and Physical Sciences. Murray’s term as chair will end in January 2014, a change that Murray wrote “will free up a significant amount of time to undertake my new responsibilities to the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board.”

Murray, who received her B.S. and Ph.D. in physics from MIT, is also the John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Moniz, who began his term in May 2013 following the departure of former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, praised the intellect and diversity of the newly appointed Secretary of Energy Advisory Board.

“These individuals represent some of the best and brightest in their respective fields and it is a great privilege that they have agreed to offer their expertise to the Energy Department,” Moniz said in a press release. “Having a diverse set of voices around the table will ensure that the Department has a strategic approach to the nation’s energy, science, nuclear security, and environmental stewardship future.”

—Staff writer Brian C. Zhang can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @brianczhang.


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