Title and Affiliation
Major, U.S. Air Force
Nuclear Scholars Initiative, Class of 2020
How did you hear about/get involved with PONI?
I was invited to a PONI conference at USSTRATCOM by a co-worker and was impressed with the diversity of research and insight on the future of nuclear power.
What are you doing to stay busy in the era of COVID-19? How are you staying engaged with the nuclear community?
My work and life during the era of COVID-19 has been both more simple and complex. I have been blessed with more time at home with our five month old who I think must be the happiest boy on the planet. That experience has been wonderful. During this period I have also started a new position as the B-2 Nuclear Manager. The position is extremely rewarding but also challenging. The B-2 team has succeeded in reducing virus exposure by dividing into teams, increasing project collaboration and incorporating virtual means of communication. Likewise, PONI’s response is an example of its innovative mindset. Zoom panels in many ways have allowed increased participation and exposure to the nuclear community.
Describe one PONI activity you’ve enjoyed
The Middle East Missile Crisis tabletop exercise was a fascinating opportunity to explore the complexities of a regional conflict with nuclear weapons. The heightened nature of a conflict involving multiple parties with nuclear weapons emphasized the importance of non-proliferation as well as continued efforts to deter rogue actors and assure non-nuclear allies of their defense.
How has PONI impacted your career?
PONI provides a unique opportunity to interact with a diverse group of nuclear experts (scientists, academics, policy advisors, military members of the nuclear triad, etc.) and gain a broader perspective of how my profession as a nuclear bomber pilot fits in a larger US nuclear policy. Specifically, with more insight and a new list of contacts I am better equipped to return to work and address the challenges facing nuclear bombers in the 21st century.
What one piece of advice would you offer to those interested in joining the nuclear field?
As regional actors increasingly use nuclear power to advance their specific interests, the US is in need of a new cadre of nuclear experts. The US and its allies will depend on this nuclear cadre to devise the capabilities and policy to prevent future war and continue peace. PONI stands out as an opportunity to build on one’s expertise and gather scientific, military and nuclear policy insight through discussion with a diverse group of nuclear professionals.
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