Updated: February 24, 2021
President Joseph R. Biden Jr. on Wednesday announced two additional members of his energy and jobs team: David Turk, Deputy Secretary of Energy and Julie Su, Deputy Secretary of Labor.
Turk and Su are expected to support the work of Secretary of Energy Nominee Jennifer Granholm and Secretary of Labor Nominee Marty Walsh in their efforts to address the worst energy and jobs crisis in nearly a century.
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“Turk and Su will help advance President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda by rebuilding America’s middle class and creating an equitable clean energy future we can depend on,” the White House said in a statement. “They will be partners to the President in building a stronger, more resilient, and more inclusive economy that delivers every American a fair return for their work and an equal chance to get ahead.”
David Turk, Deputy Secretary of Energy
Dave Turk is currently the Deputy Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA). Throughout his tenure at the IEA, Turk has focused on helping countries around the world on their clean energy transitions. He has also directed analysis focused on digitalization and energy, hydrogen, and tracking progress on a wide range of clean energy technologies.
Turk also served as the Deputy on the Energy Agency Review Team during the transition to the Biden-Harris Administration, which provided recommendations across the full range of Department of Energy (DOE) issues and offices.
During the Obama-Biden Administration, Turk worked in DOE coordinating international technology and clean energy efforts. During this time, he helped spearhead the launch of Mission Innovation, a global effort to enhance clean energy innovation.
Turk has also served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director at the U.S. National Security Council, where he coordinated interagency legislative affairs efforts by the full range of national security Agencies and provided legislative advice to National Security Council decision-making. He also previously worked at the U.S. Department of State, including as Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change and helping to coordinate New Start Treaty ratification efforts in the U.S. Senate.
Earlier in his career, Turk worked in both the U.S. Senate, primarily on national security issues, and as the Staff Director of the National Security Subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee.
Turk was born in Quito, Ecuador, and grew up in a small Midwestern town. He is married to Emily Turk, a registered architect and sustainability professional, and they have three children.
Julie Su, Deputy Secretary of Labor
Julie A. Su is currently the Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Su in January of 2019 to serve as his cabinet advisor on labor issues and employment programs for workers and businesses throughout California.
Secretary Su oversees the state departments and boards that enforce labor laws, including minimum wage and occupational safety standards, provide state disability and unemployment insurance benefits, fund workforce training and apprenticeship programs, combat wage theft, protect injured workers, and arbitrate public sector contract disputes.
Su is a nationally recognized expert on workers’ rights and civil rights who has dedicated her distinguished legal career to advancing justice on behalf of poor and disenfranchised communities, and is a past recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” grant.
As California Labor Commissioner from 2011 through 2018, Su enforced the state’s labor laws to ensure a fair and just workplace for both employees and employers. A report on her tenure released in May 2013 found that her leadership has resulted in a renaissance in enforcement activity and record-setting results. In 2014, she launched the first “Wage Theft is a Crime” multi-media, multilingual statewide campaign to reach out to low-wage workers and their employers to help them understand their rights and feel safe speaking up about labor law abuses.
Prior to her appointment as California Labor Commissioner, Su was the Litigation Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles, the nation’s largest non-profit civil rights organization devoted to issues affecting the Asian American community. In her 17 years as a civil rights lawyer, Su brought landmark lawsuits resulting in millions of dollars for low-wage workers and policy changes in California and the United States protecting immigrant victims of crime and human trafficking. In 1995, she was the lead attorney for Thai garment workers who were trafficked into the United States and forced to sew behind barbed wire and under armed guard in an apartment complex in El Monte, California. Su is known for pioneering a multi-strategy approach that combines successful impact litigation with multiracial organizing, community education, policy reform, coalition building, and media work.
Su has taught at UCLA Law School and Northeastern Law School. She is a graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School and began her career with a Skadden Fellowship. Su is the daughter of Chinese immigrants and speaks Mandarin and Spanish.