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Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall

  • Senior Fellow, Harvard University Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
    Former Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Energy (2014-2017)
    Member, Rework America Task Force

Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall has broad leadership and management experience in national security and energy security. Throughout her career, she has chosen to engage the toughest global challenges – from preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction to countering climate change.

Liz is currently a Senior Fellow at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She is focused on advancing work at the intersection of national security and energy security, including policies to support the cutting-edge science and technology essential to U.S. military capabilities and to a clean energy future.

From 2014-2017, Liz served as the Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Energy (DOE). She was the Department’s chief operating officer, overseeing a budget of nearly $30 billion and a workforce of more than 113,000 people. She provided strategic direction for DOE’s broad missions in nuclear deterrence and proliferation prevention, science and energy, environmental management, emergency response, and grid security. She also chaired all major corporate management entities, including the Energy Systems Acquisition Advisory Board with oversight of all capital asset projects over $750 million in the largest civilian contracting agency in the Federal government; the Cyber Council that directed cybersecurity across the entire enterprise; the Credit Review Board for DOE’s $40 billion Loan Program; and the Emergency Incident Management Council. Throughout her tenure, she sought to lift up the work of career professionals and recruit and retain a diverse workforce reflecting the full strengths of our Nation.

Liz served as Special Assistant to the President and the White House Coordinator for Defense Policy, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Arms Control from 2013-2014. From 2009-2013, she was Special Assistant to the President and the Senior Director for European Affairs on the White House National Security Council, where she led the revitalization of America’s alliances and partnerships in Europe to advance the U.S. global agenda.

In the Clinton Administration, Liz served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. During this period, she led the effort to denuclearize three former Soviet states, for which she was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and the Nunn-Lugar Trailblazer Award. Early in her career, Liz was the chief advisor on foreign and defense policy to then-Senator Joe Biden. She has also worked at Stanford University, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Brookings Institution.

Born and raised in California, Liz attended college at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude, and received her doctorate in International Relations as a Rhodes Scholar at Balliol College, Oxford University. She is married to Dr. Jeff Randall, a neurosurgeon and founding partner of Pacific Brain and Spine Medical Group, and they have two college aged sons.