Suzanne Jaworowski is the Senior Advisor in the Office of Nuclear Energy, where she serves as the Political Liaison between the Office of Nuclear Energy and the Secretary of Energy, as well as the White House. She provides political and strategic leadership to the office and manages outreach and educational efforts in the area of civil nuclear energy. Prior to her role with the U.S. Department of Energy, Suzanne served as the Indiana State Campaign Director for President Trump. Prior to that role, Ms. Jaworowski served as the Communications and Government Affairs Director for Sunrise Coal, LLC / Hallador Energy Company. She has spent the majority of her career in strategic communications and government affairs for energy, technology and government clients.
What inspired you to work in STEM?
With a business degree and a background in advertising, I have always been fascinated by observing the economic impact of things and the business case for connecting ideas with people. Over the years I have observed how critical Science, Technology, Engineering and Math are as the foundation for the comfort and culture we enjoy for our daily lives. Whether it’s energy, health care, agriculture, construction or even entertainment – STEM education feeds the pipeline to the way we live. I am not a scientist, technologist, engineer or mathematician – but I am a communicator. My skill is taking complex information and making it simple and relevant for people in their everyday world. Explaining why STEM is relevant and important is what inspires me every day to work in STEM.
What excites you about your work at the Energy Department?
The promise of what DOE delivers to the U.S. and the world excites me. The work that takes place at the national labs is unparalleled in the world. In the Office of Nuclear Energy, the innovation at the labs, and the public-private partnerships we have with industry are historic in supplying modern solutions for safe, clean, resilient energy. Specifically, our office is working with the national labs, universities and U.S. industry to:
- Create new reactors that are essentially “meltdown-proof” and either generate less waste, or recycle its own waste
- Site the first U.S. Small Modular and Micro Mobile Reactors at the Idaho National Lab
- Develop smart, advanced nuclear fuels that make existing nuclear reactors safer and more economically efficient
- Build the nation’s first Fast Neutron Source to test materials that will develop future advanced nuclear technology
- Create a new fuel supply system to power these advanced, new reactors
These things are cool and exciting!
How can our country engage more women, girls, and other underrepresented groups in STEM?
For girls and women in the United States, I believe the sky is the limit. Women tend to be very creative thinkers and STEM applications are best when they are applied in a creative environment – anything can happen with more women in STEM jobs. I think the best way for our country to engage more women is to communicate the opportunities and provide role models that show women taking STEM work and solving the world’s problems – providing food, energy, health care and quality of life for people underserved people around the world.
Do you have tips you'd recommend for someone looking to enter your field of work?
Never let fear of failing stop you from taking the on your next challenge. See the outcome you want in your mind and work to make that vision a reality.
When you have free time, what are your hobbies?
I love running. I have a group of friends I run with several times a week – it’s like a free therapy session. We set new goals to run half marathons and then we support each other in achieving those goals. I love it. I love reading novels and biographies. I like to read by myself and with my daughter. We like to snuggle up together and read a good book – even now that she’s a teenager it’s quality time for us together. I love spending time with my family. We like to go to concerts, sporting events, farmers’ markets, really doing anything with my husband and our four kids is something I like to do.
Learn more about our programs & resources for women and girls in STEM at http://www.energy.gov/women