State of New Mexico
Office of the Governor
Contact: Scott Darnell
For Immediate Release
January 6, 2011
GOVERNOR MARTINEZ NOMINATES ASTRONAUT, FORMER SEN. HARRISON “JACK” SCHMITT AS ENERGY, MINERALS, AND NATURAL RESOURCES SECRETARY
SANTA FE – Governor Susana Martinez held a press conference in the Cabinet Room at the Capitol today to announce that she has nominated former astronaut and United States Senator Harrison “Jack” Schmitt to serve as secretary of the Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department. In addition to his tenure in elected office, Sen. Schmitt is also a decorated public servant, scientist, and businessman.
After announcing the nomination, Governor Martinez stated, “Senator Schmitt’s diverse background gives him a wealth of knowledge and experience that will be helpful in guiding the responsible development and protection of New Mexico’s diverse natural resources. Harnessing and developing energy sources right here in New Mexico is critical to reviving our economy and creating jobs.”
After receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1964, Schmitt earned his Air Force jet pilot wings in 1965 and Navy helicopter pilot wings in 1967. He was selected for NASA’s Scientist-Astronaut program in 1965. He served as Mission Scientist in support of the Apollo 11 mission and flew in space as part of the Apollo 17 mission. Schmitt landed on the Moon on December 11, 1972. After his career at NASA, Schmitt was elected to the United States Senate in 1976 and served in office for six years as a member of the Commerce, Banking, Appropriations, Intelligence, and Ethics Committees. Sen. Schmitt received his B.A. from Caltech and has received numerous awards and recognitions for his public service and work as a scientist.
In response to his nomination, Sen. Schmitt said, “I am proud to continue my career of public service as secretary of the Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department under Governor Martinez. I look forward to working with the Governor to enhance New Mexico’s potential to be a leader in energy and natural resource development.”