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Press Release

NNSA Reaches Out to Recruit Next Generation of Nuclear Security Experts
Aug 27, 2009

Graduate students get first-hand look at nonproliferation careers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) hosted roughly 20 graduate students from George Washington University in the first of a series of programs designed to educate and recruit the next generation of nuclear security experts.

"One of the great challenges NNSA will face in helping implement President Obama's unprecedented nuclear security agenda is recruiting and retaining the next generation of nuclear security professionals," said NNSA Administrator Thomas D'Agostino. "Not only are we working every day to improve our aging infrastructure, but as a large percentage of our workforce is approaching retirement NNSA needs to be nimble and creative to make sure we're getting America's brightest to join our ranks as new employees. The opportunity to speak to graduate students is a critical step in engaging them in a career in nuclear security."

The GWU students, who are pursuing advanced degrees at the renowned Elliott School of International Affairs, received an overview of the agency and its core missions as well as a briefing from several of NNSA's top nuclear nonproliferation officials. They completed their visit by receiving valuable information on fellowships, internships and entry-level career opportunities at NNSA, which are designed to help students easily transition into federal employment.

NNSA recognizes that to accomplish its mission it must have a workforce with the right skills in the right place at the right time. Over the next six months, the agency plans to launch an entry-level program that will attract a pool of talented, high potential students. Upon completion of their education and work requirements, these students will be eligible for appointments working on 21st Century nuclear security challenges. This program benefits both the agency and the students as it gives managers an opportunity to evaluate the students' performance in real work situations, while students will gain exposure to public service, enhance their educational goals, and shape their career choices.   

NNSA recently hired a Director of Recruitment and Entry Programs, who will strategically focus on partnering with colleges and universities that offer educational programs to match the agency's core missions and needs. Today's briefing with George Washington University Students is one example of new ways NNSA plans to recruit undergraduate and graduate students by inviting them into the agency and showing them how their existing academic pursuits dovetail into careers in nuclear security.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit www.nnsa.energy.gov for more information.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371