Bodman's challenges include pushing energy legislation.

Filling another Cabinet slot in President Bush's second term, the Senate has confirmed Samuel W. Bodman as secretary of energy. The approval, on Jan. 31 by unanimous consent, came less than two weeks after Bodman's confirmation hearing before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Bodman succeeds Spencer Abraham as head of the Dept. of Energy.

Bodman has been deputy Treasury secretary since February 2004 and, before that, was deputy secretary of Commerce. He has a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he taught chemical engineering. Later he was president of Fidelity Investments and chairman and CEO of Cabot Corp., a specialty chemical company.

As energy secretary, one of Bodman's main challenges will be to convince Congress to pass a comprehensive energy bill. That legislation became mired in the Senate late in 2003, and lawmakers subsequently took some provisions from the wide-ranging bill and attached them to other measures that were enacted last year.

Senate energy committee Chairman Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) praised Bodman as "a dynamic leader who excels in any venture he undertakes."

(Photo courtesy of Dept. of the Treasury)