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Graduate Fellow Feature: Andrew Peoples

Andrews Peoples, NGFP fellow for the Office of External Affairs

The NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program (NGFP) is a unique opportunity for recent graduates to join the Nuclear Security Enterprise. These full-time, salaried positions offer a year of specialized, on-the-job training and the chance to tackle real-world challenges in one of NNSA’s program offices. Fellows develop technical and leadership skills to launch their careers with a full immersion in one of NNSA’s core mission programs.

What is your academic background/training?

I graduated from the University of Georgia through a combined degree program, earning a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration. In graduate school, I specialized in public policy analysis and public management. Prior to this fellowship, I interned in the Federal Affairs Office of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, working on issues including energy policy and nuclear waste disposition.

What drew you to the NGFP program?

I have a generic policy background, so I wanted to find an area in the public sector where I could contribute the most to making a positive difference in the world. To that end, it’s hard to find a field more impactful than nuclear security. I recognized that between the benefits of nuclear deterrence and NNSA’s global nonproliferation efforts, this agency is a place where I can contribute to a greater good.

What are you currently doing for NNSA?

Currently, I work in Congressional Affairs, which is part of NNSA’s Office of External Affairs. I keep track of NNSA and national laboratory engagements with Congress, conduct legislative research, and help prepare briefing materials, including policy memos. I have also had the privilege of writing talking points for both the NNSA Administrator and the Secretary of Energy.

What has been a highlight of your time with NNSA so far?

One of the best parts so far was assisting with preparations for the annual National Defense Authorization Act impacts briefing with staff from the House and Senate Armed Services Committees. I helped prepare briefing materials for this important meeting and it was rewarding to see NNSA’s leadership using our briefing materials as they discussed the agency’s budget and authorities with Congressional staff.

The NGFP is funded by NNSA and is administered by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Explore a career in nuclear security!