Morning Briefing - May 29, 2024
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May 28, 2024

Robertson picked to succeed White at EM helm

By ExchangeMonitor

The Department of Energy is turning to longtime federal hand Candice Robertson to oversee the Office of Environmental Management after President Joe Biden announced plans to nominate William (Ike) White to a federal nuclear safety board.

The personnel move was announced Tuesday morning in a “colleagues” email to stakeholders from Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. The email was viewed by Exchange Monitor

Candice Robertson is now a senior adviser at EM for clean power development at nuclear sites. Robertson has held many big jobs around Environmental Management, including chief of staff to the deputy secretary. She has also worked at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

White’s last day in charge of EM will be Friday, June 14, according to DOE. Robertson’s first official day in the job is June 16, the first day of that pay period. 

“Please join me in congratulating Ike White, who was recently nominated by the President to serve on the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB),’ Granholm said in the email. “While he awaits confirmation to the DNFSB, Ike will serve as a Senior Advisor, applying his expertise across DOE’s critical missions.”

White’s nomination was received May 23 in the Senate and assigned to the Senate Armed Services Committee. He would serve a term expiring Oct. 18, 2028. 

“Candice has over 20 years of experience in radioactive waste management and is well versed in EM’s mission, previously serving as the EM principal deputy assistant secretary of energy and as an associate principal deputy assistant secretary, as well as DOE’s Chief Human Capital Officer,” Granholm said in the email, which did not appear to include a start date.

Robertson’s title will have the same “senior adviser” title as held by White, a DOE spokesperson said before noon on Tuesday. 

Robertson has shown DOE’s top brass that she can carry out high-level EM-level responsibilities despite living well outside Washington, D.C., in rural Virginia, an industry executive told Exchange Monitor Tuesday. 

Anne Marie White, no relation to Ike White, was the last Senate-confirmed EM assistant secretary in 2018. Two years ago, the Government Accountability Office recommended Congress create a new DOE under secretary for nuclear waste management and environmental cleanup to oversee EM. The post would span administrations and provide stability, GAO said. Congress has yet to take action, a GAO representative said Tuesday. 

Editor’s note: First paragraph modified at 5:22 p.m. May 29, 2024. 

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