Growing up, I always had a passion for cars. From working in my father's maintenance shop as a kid to restoring classic cars, the American automobile always held my attention.
It was the fulfillment of a dream to follow in my dad's footsteps to Ford Motor Co., where I worked on the leadership team. As I prepared to move to Dearborn, there were two things I heard about, and I could not wait to experience: the Woodward Dream Cruise and a Miller's Bar burger. Each lived up to the reputation.
During my time at Ford, I worked on advanced automotive technologies such as hybrid cars and autonomous vehicles and completed a rotation on the factory floor. And while it has been several years since my days at Ford and my last Miller's burger, the department I lead as secretary of energy continues to stoke my passion for cars through technological innovations driven by our national laboratories that keep America on the cutting edge of the automotive industry.
With electric vehicles set to play a key role in the industry's future, a crucial subject we are working on is next-generation battery development and energy storage. The U.S. Department of Energy is investing millions of dollars through its Vehicle Technologies Office on applied R&D on innovative ideas to revolutionize the battery market. Our work is built on a pedigree of success, including foundational research in the development of the lithium ion battery that led to two DOE researchers winning the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the 2019 Global Energy Prize.