Training and Enrichment: Christopher A. Smith


Posted on February 25th, by alice in Blog and Updates Content, Blog Posts. No Comments

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This week, Bonners had the opportunity to meet with Christopher A. Smith, Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy at the weekly training and enrichment meeting.

As Assistant Secretary, Mr. Smith leads the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, including scientists and engineers working at eleven sites across the United States. In this capacity, he oversees the Department’s fossil energy’s research and development program (coal, oil and natural gas) and the National Energy Technology Laboratory. He is also responsible for the U.S. Petroleum Reserves, the largest strategic petroleum stockpile in the world.

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Prior to his Senate confirmation, Mr. Smith served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fossil Energy and as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Oil and Natural Gas. During that tenure, he served as the Designated Federal Official for the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling, established by President Obama to investigate the root causes of the Gulf oil spill.

Mr. Smith reached out to Associate Director Alison Leland about speaking to Bonners, after many Bonners applied summer internships at the Department of Energy. Mr. Smith was impressed with the work Bonners at the University of Houston are doing. During his talk, he spoke about campaigning for President Obama, about his work at the Department of Energy’s Office of Fossil Energy, and about the collective global effort to address climate change. He also answered questions about his college experience, his career, and advices he would give about success. Several of our Bonners also had the chance to speak with him regarding their service projects.

This week’s lecture with Christopher A. Smith is an example of the weekly Bonner training and enrichment sessions. Bonner directors and program staff work hard to make sure the Bonners receive important learning experiences and valuable opportunities to expand their professional connections. In Director Andrew Hamilton’s words, “Our weekly training and enrichment is where we learn to Bonner.”





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