Title and Affiliation

Attorney, Office of Legislative Counsel, U.S. House of Representatives

PONI involvement

Nuclear Scholars Initiative, Class of 2020

How did you hear about/get involved with PONI?

I heard about PONI from several colleagues: two previous Nuclear Scholars recommended the experience to me, and my brother–a nuclear physicist currently working at the Air Force Institute of Technology–had attended a PONI conference the previous year and couldn’t speak highly enough of the event. Originally I had hoped to submit an abstract with my brother for co-presentation at a future conference (addressing a nuclear issue from a legal and scientific perspective), but the Nuclear Scholars program seemed like a perfect opportunity given my interests and where I’m at in my career.

Describe one PONI activity you participated in?

I am a member of the 2020 Nuclear Scholars class and have attended tabletop exercises, expert lectures, and other activities through the experience.

How has PONI impacted your career?

It’s broadened my technical understanding of nuclear weapons and associated issues, which in turn has already helped me feel more confident navigating related legal provisions. More importantly, it has exposed me to an incredibly diverse network of colleagues that I likely would not have otherwise come into contact with through my workplace (and, had we come into contact, our interactions would not have been nearly as candid, informed, and thought-provoking as they have been through the forum PONI provides).

What advice do you have for those interested in joining the nuclear field?

I would encourage them to consider what subset of the nuclear field they’re most interested in–whether that’s a general region, an area of technologies, a specific actor, etc.–and think about what outside skills they can develop to help deepen their knowledge of that area (for example, by obtaining foreign language skills or experience with technical processes).

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I have danced with* Jonathan Van Ness from Netflix’s hit makeover show “Queer Eye”. (*Note: we did not acknowledge each other and were not close enough for introductions, but we were both dancing under the same roof!)

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