Frederico Peña (1997–1998) - Secretary of Energy [cite this] ↑Bill Clinton Home Page Frederico Fabian Peña was born in 1947 in Laredo, Texas. He earned his B.A. in 1969 and his J.D. in 1972, both from the University of Texas. After a short stint working as a legal aid attorney in El Paso, Peña moved to Denver, Colorado, where he was admitted to the bar and again worked in legal aid before becoming a staff attorney for the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund. In 1979, Peña won a seat in the Colorado state House of Representatives and within four years had become the body's minority Speaker. In 1983, he ran a successful campaign to become the mayor of Denver, defeating the fourteen-year incumbent and becoming the first Latin American mayor of the city. Peña secured reelection in 1988, but in 1991 he decided not to run again, choosing instead to establish an investment company. In 1992, President-elect Bill Clinton tapped Peña -- who had advised Clinton on transportation issues during the presidential campaign -- to become secretary of transportation, a post he held from 1993 to 1997. Though Peña had planned to leave Clinton's cabinet after the President's first term, he was persuaded to remain in the administration, this time serving as secretary of energy. Peña agreed to do so for one year, ultimately leaving the cabinet in 1998. Frederico Fabian Peña then joined Vestar Capital Partners. Bill Clinton Essays Life in Brief Life Before the Presidency Campaigns and Elections Domestic Affairs Foreign Affairs Life After the Presidency Family Life The American Franchise Impact and Legacy [ print all essays ] Bill Clinton Home Citation Information Consulting Editor Russell L. Riley Professor Riley is co-chair of the Presidential Oral History Program and project director of the William J. Clinton Presidential History Project. His writings include: The Presidency and the Politics of Racial Inequality: Nation-Keeping from 1831–1965 (Columbia University Press, 1999) American President has changed! Click here to take a short survey and tell us what you think!