National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA employee stationed abroad recounts international efforts

May 4, 2018

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Dan Milstein on a site visit of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant in Hungary.
Dan Milstein on a site visit of the Paks Nuclear Power Plant in Hungary.
Dan Milstein gives a brown bag lunchtime presentation about his work in Bulgaria.
Dan Milstein gives a brown bag lunchtime presentation about his work in Bulgaria.

Many dedicated civilians work hard to protect our national security interests from half a world away.

Dan Milstein, Director of The Department of Energy (DOE)’s European Regional Office, has been working hard to advance DOE objectives throughout Central and Eastern Europe and is stationed at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria. In 2014, he joined the International Operations team in NNSA’s Office of Management and Budget after previously serving in DOE’s Office of International Affairs.

During a recent presentation at NNSA headquarters in Washington, DC, for NNSA employees, as well as colleagues from other government agencies, Milstein recounted some of his experiences, focusing on the major functions and activities of his position and his office.

Dan Milstein (second from left) at U.S. Embassy-Sofia with his staff.
Dan Milstein (second from left) at U.S. Embassy-Sofia with his staff.

“The dependence of many of our NATO allies on energy supplies from a single, potentially dubious source is a serious energy security vulnerability,” said Milstein. “Working to open up these markets to alternative options is a central part of what I do.”

Using unclassified examples, he explained his efforts to promote energy security, U.S. commercial interests, and nuclear nonproliferation in the region. For example, Milstein explained that countries like Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia are all exclusively dependent on one, state-owned company for their nuclear fuel supply. As a result, there is an active commercial advocacy case for U.S. companies to also begin selling fuel to one of the nuclear power plants in the region and thus help stabilize Bulgaria’s infrastructure.   

On a personal note, Milstein shared that his demanding job requires sacrifices by both himself and his family, but nonetheless encouraged those who are motivated by the desire to help advance an important mission to consider serving overseas.