Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu is President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for Energy secretary.
Chu, 60, brings additional diversity to the Obama cabinet. He is a Chinese American who currently is director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California, has in recent years campaigned to bring together a cross-section of scientific disciplines to find ways to counter climate change.
Born to Chinese parents in St. Louis, he grew up in the Queens borough of New York City. His father, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate and professor of chemical
engineering, and mother came to the United States in 1943 and two years later decided to stay because of the political turmoil in China.
One of the country’s most renowned scientists, Chu shared the Nobel Prize in physics in 1997 with two other scientists for his research into ways to cool and trap atoms using laser light. ♦