NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program graduates largest-ever class

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The 2019 NGFP class with NNSA and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) leadership.

2019 NGFP fellow Sarah Sarnoski addresses the fellows, family, and friends.

NNSA celebrated the graduation of its largest-ever cohort of emerging nuclear security leaders from the NNSA Graduate Fellowship Program (NGFP) at a formal ceremony on May 30th.

NGFP is a yearlong, highly competitive developmental fellowship program that provides graduate-level professionals the opportunity to gain experience in the Nuclear Security Enterprise. Fellows are placed in offices at NNSA headquarters in Washington, D.C.; in site offices at NNSA labs and plants; and at the Department of State.

Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator gave the keynote address.

“We must keep our top asset—you, our people—as ready and as cutting-edge as our technical solutions,” Gordon-Hagerty said. “We have a vested interest in your success and the success of NGFP: an invaluable program that provides a fresh infusion of talent that protects our Nation.”

NNSA Associate Administrator for Management and Budget Frank Lowery and members of the PNNL fellowship management team welcome guests to the NGFP graduation reception.

This year’s class of fellows racked up an impressive list of accomplishments over the course of their year with NNSA. Some of those include:

  • Coordinating the first-ever safeguards workshop in Sudan
  • Serving as a member of the Nuclear Incident Response Team
  • Participating in a reactor conversion stakeholder meeting in Jordan
  • Establishing an employee resource group
  • Devising a new cost model for budget forecasting

Sarah Sarnoski, this year’s NGFP fellow in the Office of International Nuclear Safeguards, also spoke to the assembled graduates, supervisors, and friends,

“This fellowship has facilitated both professional and personal growth, and I am not exaggerating when I say this has been the best year of my life,” said Sarnoski. “During my time in this fellowship, I have made close friends, broadened my professional network, defended my Ph.D. in nuclear engineering, and I learned a thing or two about nuclear nonproliferation along the way.”

NGFP Fellow Catherine Kuhnheim presents her poster – showing her accomplishments over the course of the fellowship – to NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty.

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