Cabinet Profiles: Jennifer Granholm: Secretary Of Energy

The hearings for President Joe Biden‘s Cabinet nominations continue today.

We will hear testimony from his picks to lead all of his cabinet positions over the next several weeks. We will profile the nominees in advance of their hearings so our readers will have some background information as the proceedings take place.

In addition, most of the hearings will be live-streamed, and we will share that information on our Twitter feed once the hearings go live.


Jennifer Granholm

Secretary of Energy

  • Worked with President Biden on job-creating clean energy investments that helped recover and diversify Michigan’s economy in the great recession
  • Worked with the Obama-Biden Administration to save one million auto jobs


After graduating from Harvard Law School, Granholm clerked for Judge Damon Keith, a senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, from 1987 to 1988. She also worked for the Michael Dukakis 1988 presidential campaign.

After working as an attorney in the Wayne County executive office from 1989 to 1991, she became an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan in 1991. She helped to prosecute drug dealers, gang members, and child pornographers, sued the state, and fought against credit card fraud. Of the 154 people she tried, 151 were convicted.

In 1995 she was appointed to serve as Corporation Counsel for Wayne County, becoming the youngest person to hold the position. She defended the County against lawsuits, sued the state over road taxes, and fought to uphold environmental laws.

Granholm served as Michigan’s attorney general from 1999 to 2003 and two terms as Michigan’s first female governor, from 2003 to 2010.

She was a supporter of Biden’s presidential bid and has spoken out against President Donald Trump’s attempts to overturn the election results, accusing him of “poisoning democracy.”

Granholm faced an economic downturn before the Great Recession struck. She sought to diversify the state that is home to the Detroit Three automakers by emphasizing the growing “green economy.” The state pushed incentives to manufacture wind turbines, solar panels, advanced batteries, and electric vehicles, and she signed a law requiring that more of Michigan’s energy come from renewable sources.

Granholm has reportedly resigned from her roles as an analyst with CNN and as an adjunct professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where she took up after her Michigan service.

The first person in her family to attend college, Granholm graduated from the University of California, Berkeley. She went on to earn her Juris Doctor degree at Harvard Law School.

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