Steve Chu was formerly the United States Secretary of Energy from 2009 to 2013. Prior to his appointment as the Secretary of Energy, Dr. Chu was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California Berkeley and the Director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is a well-regarded American physicist who is known for his research at Bell Labs and Stanford University in cooling and trapping of atoms with laser light, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997 along with his scientific colleagues. He is now a Professor of Physics and Professor of Molecular & Cellular Physiology at Stanford University.
He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Academia Sinica, and is a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Korean Academy of Science and Engineering. He was also awarded the Humboldt Prize by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in 1995.
Dr. Chu received both a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics and a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the University of Rochester in 1970. He then earned his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California Berkeley in 1976.