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Energy / ENERGY

Chu, Obama and their Secret Handshakes

Asked on Thursday if he would stick around for a second Obama administration, Chu said: "This is between me, the President, and our secret handshakes.”(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

photo of Olga Belogolova
November 3, 2011

How does a Nobel Prize winning President interact with a Nobel Prize winning Energy Secretary?

“That’s a secret handshake,” Energy Secretary Steven Chu quipped at a Washington Post Live energy conference on Thursday.

Prior to becoming President Obama’s Energy Secretary, Chu was director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 1997, while he was working at Bell Labs, Chu shared the Nobel Prize in Physics with colleagues Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William Daniel Phillips for research on cooling and trapping atoms using lasers.  

 

In October 2009, Obama himself was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for "his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

Shortly after taking office, Obama tapped Chu to be his energy chief. In March 2011, he joked that Chu “actually deserved” his Nobel Prize.

Asked on Thursday if he would stick around for a second Obama administration, Chu said: "This is between me, the President, and our secret handshakes.”

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