Jennifer Granholm (2021- )
Jennifer Mulhern Granholm was born on February 5, 1959, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She moved with her family to California when she was a young girl, and she became a US citizen in 1980. She attended the University of California Berkeley, graduating in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in political science and French and becoming the first person in her family to graduate from college. She then attended Harvard Law School, graduating in 1987.
Granholm began her career as a judicial clerk on the 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals before working as a federal prosecutor in Detroit, Michigan, and being appointed to the Wayne County Corporation Counsel in 1994. Her political career began when she was elected Michigan’s first female Attorney General in 1998, and Granholm served in that position until she ran for governor. She was elected Michigan’s first female governor in 2002, taking office in 2003. She was reelected in 2006. As governor, Granholm helped Michigan navigate the economic downturn of 2008, including strengthening the auto industry, creating jobs, and focusing on developing clean energy.
After she left office in 2011, Granholm held a variety of teaching jobs in law, politics, and public policy at universities around the country. She co-chaired Hillary Clinton’s political action committee and served as part of the transition team for Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
After Joe Biden was elected president in 2020, he announced his intention to name Granholm as Secretary of Energy. The US Senate confirmed her on February 25, 2021, by a vote of 64 to 35. As secretary, Granholm pledged to develop clean energy technologies, reduce carbon emissions, and create jobs in the clean energy industry.