Shalanda Baker is a professor of law, public policy and urban affairs at Northeastern University and the co-founder of the Initiative for Energy Justice. Baker has a unique story: she is a former Air Force officer who received an honorable discharge pursuant to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” and became an advocate for repealing the policy. Baker currently serves as the Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the Department of Energy after a lengthy confirmation process ending in June 2022.
Baker was previously the Deputy Director for Energy Justice within the Department of Energy, making her nomination somewhat of an internal promotion. Despite a tame nomination process, and even lacking a coordinated conservative opposition force, Baker’s nomination was nevertheless delayed by Senator Mike Lee. In October 2021, Lee blocked a unanimous consent request to confirm Baker. Due to Senator Lee’s actions and Senate procedures around entering a new year, Baker’s nomination was and had to be re-introduced to the Senate and replaced on the Executive Calendar, further delaying Baker’s nomination.
Baker received a unanimous consent agreement waiving the mandatory quorum requirement on May 18th, 2022, and was confirmed on June 7th, 2022 – 430 days after her initial nomination and 344 days longer than the average DoE nominee.
In April 2021, President Biden announced Shalanda Baker as the nominee for Director of the Office of Minority Impact within the Department of Energy. Baker was officially announced as the nominee on April 27th and was confirmed on June 7th, 2022—over a year later.
President Biden Announced Baker’s Nomination On April 22nd, 2021. “Shalanda Baker, Nominee for Director of the Office of Minority Economic Impact, Department of Energy.” [White House Press Release, 4/22/21]
- Baker Was Introduced To The Senate On April 27th, 2021. “04/27/2021, Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.” [Congress.gov, Accessed 6/30/22]
- After A Hearing In June 2021, The Committee On Energy And Natural Resources Reported Baker Favorably On July 22nd, 2021. “07/22/2021, Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. Ordered to be reported favorably.” [Congress.gov, Accessed 6/30/22]
- Baker Was Places On The Executive Calendar, But Did Not Receive A Vote In 2021, Requiring Her Nomination To Be Reset. “01/03/2022 Returned to the President under the provisions of Senate Rule XXXI, paragraph 6 of the Standing Rules of the Senate.” [Congress.gov, Accessed 6/30/22]
- Baker Was Eventually Confirmed On June 7th, 2022. “06/07/2022, Confirmed by the Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 54 – 45. Record Vote Number: 218.” [Congress.gov, Accessed 6/30/22]
Initial Media Reception
Delays and Republican Opposition
Reception to Eventual Confirmation