Throughout her career in public service and at leading universities and research institutions, Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall has engaged the toughest global challenges, including reducing nuclear dangers, preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and countering climate change. She is currently a Distinguished Professor of the Practice at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Nunn School of International Affairs and a Senior Fellow at its Strategic Energy Institute. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and advises several U.S. National Laboratories, energy funds and research endeavors, and cybersecurity startups.
Liz served throughout the Obama Administration in a series of senior leadership roles. From 2014 until 2017, she was the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Energy. In that capacity she was the statutory chief operating officer, with broad responsibilities for overseeing a workforce of more than 112,000 and a budget of nearly $30 billion, managing the U.S. nuclear stockpile, advancing the Nation’s science and energy competitiveness, and leading Federal efforts to address climate change and secure the power grid.
Prior to her tenure at DOE, Liz served as Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for Defense Policy, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Arms Control from 2013-2014. She was the Presidential Sherpa for the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit. From 2009-2013, she was Special Assistant to the President and the Senior Director for European Affairs on the White House National Security Council.
In the Clinton Administration, Liz served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia. She pioneered the implementation of a cooperative security framework with Russia for reducing the lethal legacy of the massive Cold War nuclear arsenals. She also had direct responsibility for successfully meeting the unprecedented challenge of persuading three former Soviet states – Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan – to give up their nuclear weapons. She has been awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service and the Nunn-Lugar Trailblazer Award. Earlier in her career, she was Chief Foreign Affairs and Defense Policy Advisor to Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.