Miller Center

American President

A Reference Resource

Hazel O'Leary (1993–1997): Secretary of Energy

Hazel O'Leary served as secretary of energy during the first Clinton administration (1993-1997).

During the Ford presidency, O'Leary directed the Office of Consumer Affairs/Special Impact (1974-1976) and was general counsel of the Community Services Administration (1976-1977).

President Carter named O'Leary assistant administrator for conservation and environment in the Federal Energy Administration, a position she held from 1977 to 1978. When the Federal Energy Administration became part of the Department of Energy, O'Leary served as chief of the department's Economic Regulatory Administration (1978-1980).

From 1981 to 1989, O'Leary was vice president and general counsel of O'Leary & Associates, the energy consulting firm she and her husband formed. She then joined Northern States Power Company as executive vice president for public and environmental affairs and vice president for human resources. In 1993, she was promoted to president of the company.

O'Leary was born in Newport News, Virginia, in 1937. She graduated from Fisk University and earned her law degree at Rutgers University Law School.

After leaving the Department of Energy in 1997, O'Leary rejoined her energy consulting firm.