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Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall

National Security, Defense, Energy, & Climate Policy Leader With Experience At The Highest Levels of US Government

    • Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy (2014-2017)

    • Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for Defense Policy, Countering WMD, and Arms Control (2013-2014)

    • Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs, National Security Council (2009-2013)

    • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Russia, Ukraine & Eurasia, U.S. Department of Defense (1994-1996)

    • Senior Fellow, Harvard Kennedy School's Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs
Topics & Types
EnergyChange ManagementChinaCyber SecurityLeadershipMiddle EastGeopoliticsPoliticsFemale Speakers

Throughout her career at leading universities, research institutions, and in public service, Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall has engaged the toughest global challenges. This includes strengthening nuclear deterrence, stopping the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and countering climate change. She has mobilized and led diverse teams to achieve ambitious goals and continues to tackle problems of consequence in the national security and energy spheres.

Dr. Sherwood-Randall is now a Distinguished Professor of the Practice at the Georgia Institute of Technology with joint appointments at the Nunn School of International Affairs and the Strategic Energy Institute. She is also a Senior Fellow at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and a Global Order Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perry World House. She advises several U.S. national laboratories, Energy Impact Partners, the Electric Power Research Institute, and cyber security start-ups Arceo and Dragos.

From 2014 until January 2017, Dr. Sherwood-Randall served as the Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Energy (DOE). In this role, she was the Department’s statutory chief operating officer, executing leadership and management responsibilities for the entirety of the DOE ecosystem, including the National Nuclear Security Administration and 17 National Laboratories. She provided strategic direction for its broad and complex missions including ensuring the effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear arsenal and preventing proliferation, advancing the frontiers of research and innovation in science and energy, fulfilling environmental management commitments, and building a more secure and resilient U.S. power grid. She also led multiple bilateral and multilateral energy, climate, and nuclear security dialogues with international counterparts in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Prior to her tenure at DOE, Dr. Sherwood-Randall served as Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for Defense Policy, Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction, and Arms Control from 2013 to 2014. In this role, she managed the Nuclear Security Summit process, oversaw the removal and disposal of all declared Syrian chemical weapons, and spearheaded a White House initiative to reduce sexual assault in the U.S. military. From 2009 to 2013, she served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for European Affairs on the White House National Security Council, advising the President and leading the revitalization of America’s alliances and partnerships with 49 European countries, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the European Union.

In the Clinton Administration, Dr. Sherwood-Randall served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia, leading unprecedented efforts to successfully denuclearize three former Soviet states and build partnerships with 12 countries that emerged from the breakup of the USSR. Earlier in her career, she served as Chief Foreign Affairs and Defense Policy Advisor to Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. She has also held positions at Harvard University, Stanford University, the Brookings Institution, and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Born and raised in California, Dr. Sherwood-Randall attended college at Harvard University, graduating magna cum laude. She received her doctorate as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. She is married to Dr. Jeffrey Randall, a neurosurgeon and founder of Pacific Brain and Spine Medical Group, and they are the parents of two sons who are currently in college.

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