National Nuclear Security Administration

Graduate Fellow Feature: Thais Ramo

May 15, 2019

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Thais Ramo, an NNSA Graduate Fellow
Thais Ramo

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 or field of study?

My undergraduate degree was a blend of science and international relations where I became interested in international legal frameworks and organizations. Then I went on to get my law degree. Through classes that focused on international law and security, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in nonproliferation and terrorism studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey. The NGFP offers a great chance for me to incorporate my science, law, and policy background into my daily work.

What drew you to the NGFP program?

As a recent graduate, I was looking for an opportunity to put my degree into practice in the public sector. The NGFP offers great opportunities to receive direct exposure to nonproliferation policy and stakeholder discussions. Coming from a policy background, I was interested in working alongside our National Laboratories and learning more about the technical aspects of nuclear policy. During my fellowship, I have had the opportunity to observe technical experts use innovative equipment and tools to achieve broader policy goals.

What interests you most about nuclear security?

I like that in the nuclear security field, science and policy merge to address real-world problems. Subject matter experts support those responsible for implementing policy by providing technical recommendations that will further those broader policy goals. There are a many international players collaborating on a daily basis to prevent the illicit use of nuclear and radioactive material. Every day you see science, international relations and domestic policies interacting to achieve a common goal.

What advice would you give prospective fellows?

A piece of advice that I received from a former fellow that I found to be true is to “be inquisitive” throughout your fellowship. The program is a great opportunity to receive exposure to all kinds of work within NNSA and you will find people eager to explain their work to you. This is a year for you to work on different projects related to nuclear security that will help you identify what you find most interesting and motivating.

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