By Adam Entous
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman has
removed Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s lobbyist in Washington
from the Energy Department’s top advisory board, administration
officials said on Thursday.
Randa Fahmy Hudome, a former international policy adviser
to then-Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham, was appointed to the
department’s highest level external advisory board by Abraham
in May 2004. Soon after she became Libya’s lobbyist.
Her membership on the Secretary of Energy Advisory Board,
first reported by Reuters in May, drew fire from some
government watchdog groups and families of the victims of the
1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, Scotland. Libya has taken
responsibility for the bombing and agreed to a compensation
Energy Department spokesman Mike Waldron declined to say
whether Fahmy Hudome’s lobbying for Gaddafi prompted Bodman to
terminate her membership on the board one year into her two
“Secretary Bodman, upon being sworn in, began a membership
review of the department’s various boards and committees to
ensure they adequately address the needs and the direction that
he’s setting,” Waldron said. Bodman became energy secretary in
Other officials said Bodman was not pleased to learn that
one of the board members represented a government that
Washington still classifies as a sponsor of terrorism.
Fahmy Hudome, who has also served for the last year on the
State Department’s advisory committee on international economic
policy, was not reappointed to the committee when her one-year
term ended in June, said a State Department official who
declined further comment.
Fahmy Hudome, who was associate deputy secretary of energy
until June 30, 2003, did not return phone calls seeking
Administration officials said Fahmy Hudome’s appointment to
the advisory boards did not violate any laws or restrictions on
former policymakers, and that she was chosen because of her
earlier international policy experience.
President Bush in April 2004 suspended most sanctions
against Libya after it agreed to dismantle all of its nuclear,
chemical and biological programs, but Tripoli remains on the
U.S. terrorism list.
Six weeks after her appointment to the advisory board on
May 14, 2004, Fahmy Hudome clinched an initial $1.47 million
consulting agreement with Libya that called for her to
“strengthen Libya’s interests” by working “directly with the
executive and legislative branches of government,” records
Fahmy Hudome signed a revised contract with the Libyan
government in March 2005 worth $750,000 for the period of Jan.
1, 2005 to Jan. 1, 2006.
Libya’s top envoy in Washington, Ali Aujali, told Reuters
in May that Tripoli was hopeful Hudome’s connections within the
Bush administration would help Tripoli achieve its goals in
Washington, chief among them getting the State Department to
remove Libya from the U.S. terrorism list.