Ernest J. Moniz

Chief Executive Officer and President

Photo of EFI Foundation's Ernest J. Moniz.

Ernest J. Moniz is Chief Executive Officer and President of the EFI Foundation.

A leading voice on energy innovation pathways and international security matters, Ernest J. Moniz served as the thirteenth United States Secretary of Energy from 2013 to January 2017.

As secretary, Moniz (pronounced MO-neez) advanced energy technology innovation, nuclear security and strategic stability, cutting-edge capabilities for the American scientific research community, and environmental stewardship.

In office, he strengthened the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) strategic partnership with its 17 national laboratories, as well as with the U.S. Department of Defense, and the broader national security establishment. Moniz’s DOE implemented legislation and produced analytically based energy policy proposals that attracted bipartisan support (Future of Nuclear Power, Future of Coal, Future of Natural Gas and of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle). He also negotiated the historic Iran nuclear agreement with then-Secretary of State John Kerry. He created Mission Innovation, an international initiative that placed science and technology at the center of governmental response to climate change.

He is a sought-after expert by media organizations, and since returning to private life has appeared frequently on platforms such as CNN, CNBC, CBS News, and NPR. His ability to communicate complicated issues to a general audience has led to multiple appearances on Real Time with Bill Maher, The Daily Show and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. He is author or co-author or more than two dozen opinion pieces that have been published in outlets such as the Boston Globe, The Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and The Economist.

Professor Moniz previously served as undersecretary of energy from 1997 until 2001 with science, energy, and nuclear security responsibilities. Before that, he was associate director for science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy from 1995 to 1997, with responsibility for the physical, life, and social sciences. He was a member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology as well as the Defense Threat Reduction Advisory Committee from 2009 to 2013. He also served on the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future.

Professor Moniz was a member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) faculty from 1973 until 2013 when he was appointed secretary of energy. Now, he is the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physics and Engineering Systems emeritus at MIT, as well as the special advisor to the MIT president. He is co-chairman of the board of directors and CEO of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Moniz was the founding director of the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) and director of the laboratory for energy and the environment. MITEI grew to involve over a quarter of the faculty across the entire institute, launched new educational programs for energy, and established novel models for industry-faculty engagement that simultaneously provided individualized company research portfolios with a common approach that lifted the entire energy enterprise.

Moniz was also head of the MIT Department of Physics from 1991 to 1995 and 1997 and director of the Bates Linear Accelerator Center from 1983 to 1991. His physics research centered the development of a theoretical framework for understanding intermediate energy electron and meson interactions with atomic nuclei. Since 2001, his primary research has focused on energy technology and policy, giving him a leadership role in MIT multidisciplinary technology and policy studies addressing pathways to a low-carbon world (Future of Nuclear Power, of Coal, of Natural Gas and of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle). These studies had significant impact on energy policy and programs nationwide.

Professor Moniz serves on the board of directors of both publicly traded and private companies in the energy and security sectors, and through EJM Associates, offers private advice to a variety of clients.

He received a Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude in physics from Boston College, a doctorate in theoretical physics from Stanford University, and several honorary doctorates, with some from European universities.


  • Non-resident Senior Fellow, Harvard Belfer Center
  • Inaugural Distinguished Fellow, Emerson Collective
  • Fellow, American Physics Society
  • Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Fellow, the Humboldt Foundation
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Awards & Honors

  • Award for Excellence in Public Policy and Public Affairs, American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2019)
  • Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun – Japan (2019)
  • Richard A. Meserve Public Service Award, Carnegie Science (2018)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt Distinguished Public Service Award (2017)
  • Richard E. Neustadt Award, Harvard Kennedy School (2017)
  • Charles Percy Award of the Alliance to Save Energy (2016)
  • Distinguished Public Service Award, U.S. Department of Defense (2016)
  • Distinguished Public Service Award, U.S. Navy (2016)
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry the Navigator – Portugal (2015)
  • The Right Stuff Award of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation (2014)
  • Grand Cross of the Order of Makarios III – Cyprus (2008)
  • Seymour Cray HPCC Industry Recognition Award (1998)

Recent Contributions