President Reagan nominated three new cabinet-level secretaries last
week. Energy Secretary Donald P. Hodel would succeed William P. Clark
as secretary of the interior. John S. Herrington, now White House
personnel director, would take Hodel’s place at the Energy
Department. And William J. Bennett, chairman of the National Endowment
for the Humanities, would take over the top Education Department post.
Former Education Secretary Terrel Bell vacated his post last December.
all three nominations are expected to win Senate confirmation.
Hodel, best known of the three, served as undersecretary of the
interior for two years under Clark’s predecessor, James Watt.
Hodel is considered an advocate of energy resource development, both on
federal lands fand offshore. Prior to joining the Interior Deparment,
Hodel, a lawyer, headed the Bonneville Power Administration in Portland,
Ore., and his own energy consulting firm.
Herrington, also a lawyer, is described by the White House as a
“longtime member of the Reagan team,” who, as a management
specialist, “brings to the Energy Department a combination of the
knowledge of defense and civil management and organization.”
Bennett is a back-to-basics, back-to-classics advocate. He has
gone on record saying that Greco-Roman and European history, philosophy
and literature should be the foundation of American education. Last
year he raised the ire of some groups for eschewing federal quotas or
goals on the number of women and minorities to be employed by the
National Endowment. Bennett explained that his approach advocates that
affirmative action be “color blind,” not “color
conscious.” He also supports merit pay and competency tests for
The President has asked that each nominee, once he is installed in
his new post, assess how his agency might be reorganized.