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Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Photo: Sopa Images/Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to tap former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to serve as secretary of energy, people familiar with the matter tell Axios.

Why it matters: Granholm will play a key role in making good on Biden’s promise to shift the U.S. to clean energy. Her prior experience in the auto industry is largely seen as a strength that will appeal to blue-collar workers, Politico, which first reported the news, writes.

Our thought bubble, via Axios' Amy Harder: Granholm is likely to satisfy — or at least not upset — most corners of the Democratic Party.

  • Her track record of working with the auto industry, especially its evolution to electric vehicles, will be a key asset of fulfilling Biden's climate agenda.

The big picture: Granholm, the first woman elected governor of Michigan, served two terms from 2003 to 2011, during which she focused on revitalizing the auto and manufacturing sectors.

  • She also served as Michigan's attorney general from 1998 to 2002.
  • Co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s transition team in 2016, she has thrown her support behind low-carbon economic recovery and would oversee Biden’s plan to reduce emissions as energy secretary.
  • Granholm has also served as an adviser to Pew Charitable Trusts’ Clean Energy Program.
  • If confirmed, she would be the second woman to head the department since it was established in 1977.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional information on Granholm's background.

Go deeper

Jan 22, 2021 - Health

Stabenow: U.S. must put pandemic relief before EV manufacturing

Photo: Axios screenshot

The U.S. needs to focus on helping people get through the coronavirus pandemic before turning to manufacturing, including electric vehicles, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said on Friday at an Axios virtual event.

What she's saying: "We've got to deal with getting our arms around the vaccine, around the pandemic with the vaccines, helping people survive. And ... then robustly reopen the economy. And certainly, clean energy, jobs, is a big part of that."

Ben Geman, author of Generate
Jan 22, 2021 - Politics & Policy

New Energy Department roles look to animate Biden's campaign themes

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The burst of Biden administration staffing picks announced yesterday revealed that the Energy Department (DOE) has newly created roles that reflect what President Biden called campaign priorities.

Driving the news: One new position is "director of energy jobs," which is being filled by Jennifer Jean Kropke. She was previously the first director of workforce and environmental engagement with Local 11 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Updated Mar 24, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden Cabinet tracker: Which nominees have been confirmed

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on Jan. 16 in Wilmington, Delaware. Photo: Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images

All of President Biden's Cabinet nominees have now been confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The big picture: Biden now has known, trusted people around him, many from the Obama administration, to help implement his policies and turn away from the tumultuous Trump years.