IEEE-USA Engineering and Diplomacy Fellow
U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Energy Resources, Office of Energy Transformation
Background: I am an energy and environmental policy analyst, specializing in policies of alternative energy, fuels and renewable electricity generation. I also work on global sustainable energy systems, and energy and environmental systems modeling and analysis. In 2011, I was an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)-USA/AAAS Congressional Energy Policy Fellow working in the office of Congressman Jay Inslee (WA-D), where I piloted a legislative portfolio of energy, climate, and STEM education policies.
Question 1: Share a story from your past that led to your choosing your field of work.
Answer: I owe most of my success to the superb mentors I've had over the course of my life. My father, Steve, taught me the value of learning and learning correctly; my mother, April, taught me the value of the beautiful world that surrounds us every day. In college, I worked with highly experienced people, namely Dr. James Winebrake at the Rochester Institute of Technology and Dr. Young-Doo Wang at the University of Delaware. Both were passionate about what they do and proved that work doesn't have to feel like work—it can be fun and intriguing. These people guided me though life and steered me to where I am now. I am most grateful for their help.
Question 2: What are you most proud of in your work?
Answer: I rounded out my year as a Congressional Fellow in the office of Congressman Jay Inslee by authoring my own bill, which the Congressman introduced before the U.S. House of Representatives. Called the FUTURE STEM Act of 2011 (H.R.3703), the bill would create undergraduate research fellowships for 100 students over four years in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields with an emphasis on research in the areas of energy, environment, and economy (E3). E3 is a concept that embodies the very essence of my career focus, so having a chance to author a bill in this area is a great professional achievement.
Question 3: Tell us about a hobby or passion outside of work.
Answer: I think that our nation's National Parks are one of the greatest assets to our people and future generations. And they're the best places in the country to have some fun! From Glacier National Park in the north, to the Guadalupe Mountains in the southwest, to the Great Smoky Mountains in the east, I've visited over 90 parks in the U.S. National Park Service. These places are all best appreciated on foot, and my hiking boots have thousands of miles under them in these sacred sites.
Question 4: Read a book you are dying to tell your peers about? Give us a brief summary and tell us why you love it.
Answer: My mother introduced me to the works of Bill Bryson after she read A Walk in the Woods while she was thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. I recently read his more recent In a Sunburned Country, which chronicles Bryson's adventures across the Australian continent. What he gives is an intelligent and compelling review of Australia's land, people, customs, and mannerisms, of its cities, roads, and trains, of its quirks, ironies, and sometimes, its ridiculousness. And all the while, he paints a picture that would make anyone put a visit to Australia at the top of their to-do list.
Question 5: What's playing on your iPod/music player?
Answer: This might sound pretty nerdy: I've been listening to the Tron Legacy soundtrack by Daft Punk over and over.