Title and Affiliation:

Senior Analyst, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA)

PONI involvement:

2019 Nuclear Scholars Initiative

How has PONI impacted your career?

PONI provided me greater access to system operators and to people working on the more technical side of nuclear issues. As a think tank analyst whose work has focused primarily on big-picture policy issues, learning from those who better understand these systems in action and the limits of technology has been invaluable – and my work is much smarter as a result.

Describe one PONI activity you participated in?

I enjoyed playing the On The Brink game that previous PONI classes developed during one of our first nuclear scholars meetings. It was fun seeing the range of opinions that people had. While a lot of the groups had similar outcomes and made similar choices, I think that belies the amount of discussion, debate, and healthy disagreement that teams engaged in along the way.

What one piece of advice would you have for those interested in joining the nuclear field?

Learn the history. So many of the policy debates we have now are the same ones that policymakers were engaged in decades ago, and I think understanding the evolution of those debates can help inform smarter contemporary analysis. There’s danger in over-relying on the Cold War to explain what things will look like in the future, of course, but I think learning that history is a necessary first step for those entering the field.

What’s a fun fact about yourself?

I was once a (probably deeply unqualified) guest host and advice-giver on Slate’s Dear Prudence podcast with Daniel Mallory Ortberg.

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