Chu will enter the record books as the longest-serving Secretary in DOE's 35-year history, and the first Nobel laureate to lead the sprawling, $27 billion department. Once a successor is named, Chu says that he plans to return to California. He spent 17 years on the faculty of Stanford University before moving to the University of California, Berkeley, and was director of DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory before coming to Washington in January 2009.Despite the Solyndra debacle, I thought he did an admirable job considering that he was faced with a hostile congress that was determined to cut funding to the sciences regardless of the harm it will do not only to the advancement of knowledge, but also to the US economy.
It will be interesting to see who President Obama will nominate to replace him. I'm hoping that it will be someone who is a scientist and not a science-challenged bureaucrat (cough bill richardson cough!).