(CNN) – The Senate on Thursday confirmed Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Ernest Moniz to be the next Secretary of Energy, replacing Steven Chu.
The vote was 97-0, with three senators (Roy Blunt, R-Missouri; Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma; and Jerry Moran, R-Kansas) missing the vote.
Moniz has served on the faculty of MIT since 1973, with a research focus on energy technology and policy.
"I am pleased that today, by a unanimous vote, the Senate confirmed Ernest Moniz as our next Energy Secretary," President Obama said in a statement. "Dr. Moniz is a world-class scientist with expertise in a range of energy sources and a leader with a proven record of bringing prominent thinkers and innovators together to advance new energy solutions."
The president previously appointed Moniz to the Science and Technology Advisory Council in 2009.
Moniz was also Department of Energy undersecretary from 1997 to January 2001, focusing on nuclear weapons stockpile stewardship. He also was the Department of Energy secretary's special negotiator for Russian nuclear materials disposition programs.
A nuclear physicist, he received his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Stanford.
– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.