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Chat With Fellows: Ask Questions to Learn How You Can Be a Policy Fellow

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Want to contribute your science and technology training to directly address societal challenges? Are you seeking a professional development opportunity to engage in policy at the federal level? Then join us for the " Enhancing Policy, Transforming Careers: Chat Series with S&T Policy Fellow”- a series of live text and video chat sessions with current and alumni fellows. Hear directly from fellows and fellowship staff and learn about the impact policy fellows have been making for over 42 years.

Join us on May 28 at 2:00 EST for a one-hour live chat session where you'll learn how fellows impact science policy initiatives on Capitol Hill, in federal agencies, and the judicial branch -- and how you can apply your science and engineering background to transform your career.

Have your questions answered by fellows and chat with S&T program staff about the application process and requirements.

Live Blog Chat with Fellows: Ask questions and learn how you can be a policy fellow

Chat Participants:

Alejandro Suarez, 2014-15 Executive Branch Fellow, National Science Foundation

Alejandro Suarez is currently in his first year as a AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation. As a fellow, he works on Big Data policies and programs, participates in a coordination and leadership group on cyberinfrastructure investments, and works to advance the data-intensive science and high performance computing communities supported by NSF and other Federal agencies.

A computational physicist by training, Alejandro earned his B.S. in applied physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his Ph.D. in physics from Penn State University. In his doctoral work, he used electronic simulation methods to study chemical modification of graphene.  Prior to his fellowship, Alejandro was a National Research Council postdoctoral associate at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, where he studied the effect of substrates on graphene reactivity.

Lara Pierpoint, 2012-13 AAAS Congressional  Fellow, Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources
Now: Special Advisor, Energy Policy and Systems Analysis, U.S. Department of Energy
Lara Pierpoint was a 2012-13 AAAS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Her portfolio included nuclear power and waste management, energy efficiency, energy storage, and clean energy finance.
Lara  is now a Senior Advisor in the Department of Energy Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis. She works on a range of nuclear policy and natural gas issues as well as on systems integration and analysis for the Quadrennial Energy Review.
She completed a postdoc at the MIT Energy Initiative in July 2012, during which she studied the effectiveness of loan guarantees at promoting energy deployment. She received her PhD in 2011 from MIT in Engineering Systems, focusing on advanced technologies for nuclear waste recycling, and she holds dual masters degrees from MIT in nuclear engineering and technology policy. She is a native Californian, and completed her B.S. in physics at UCLA in 2004.

Salaeha Shariff, Director of Recruitment, AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship Program

Salaeha directs recruitment cultivation, national outreach activities, and diversity enhancement for the S&T Policy Fellowships. She plans and manages annual marketing efforts, oversees advertising, and engages with scientists and engineers in initiatives to promote careers at the intersection of science and policy.

Barry Williams, Marketing Associate, AAAS S&T Policy Fellowship Program

Barry manages advertising, facilitates outreach operations, and orchestrates marketing event logistics.  In addition, he regularly presents on the fellowship program, conducts marketing research and supports social media activities for the fellowship program.

View other upcoming and archived chat sessions in this series.

The AAAS S&T Policy Fellowships are open to doctoral level degree holders in any of the following:

  • Medical and Health sciences
  • Biological, Physical or Earth sciences
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • Computational sciences and Mathematics
  • Engineering disciplines (applicants with a MS in engineering and three years of professional experience also qualify).


Read an overview of S&T Policy Fellowships here, so we’ll have more time to answer specific questions relevant to you.