Photo of Yesenia Vergara
Yesenia Vergara

The National Nuclear Security Administration is celebrating the women who make up the backbone of our Enterprise. Our workforce is made stronger by the contributions and accomplishments of amazing women whose expertise ensures that we successfully meet the challenge of our crucial mission.

Although women make up more than half of the world’s population, women comprise a minority of professionals working in nonproliferation. In the Women in Nonproliferation Series, we celebrate the women from the NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation who work in Research & Development, Material Management and Minimization, Global Material Security, and Nonproliferation and Arms Control. These outstanding NNSA women are leading the way to help keep our nation safe and set a powerful example for women and girls considering careers in nonproliferation. 

Yesenia Vergara, Action Officer, Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD)

Yesenia Vergara is the Action Officer for the Office of Nuclear Smuggling Detection and Deterrence (NSDD). As the Action Officer, she provides direct support to NSDD's senior management with the program's initiatives, strategic messaging, and decision-making. Yesenia also serves as the liaison between NSDD and NNSA's offices, coordinating NSDD's official responses on internal and external inquiries.

For Yesenia, the best part of the job is the NSDD team. “The team is a pleasure to work with and their commitment to achieve NSDD’s mission is inspiring. I have the pleasure of working closely with the NSDD management team and get to see their genuine efforts in positively improving our working environment – especially in these challenging times.” Yesenia said.

On how the NNSA differs from other organizations, Yesenia says, “I truly believe that NSDD is one of the best organizations I have been a part of. NSDD differs from other organizations in that its commitment is palpable and directly aligns with its mission to strengthen the capabilities of partner countries to detect, disrupt, and investigate the smuggling of nuclear and radioactive material. Most notable is that NNSA allows us to see where NSDD fits within the bigger picture of national and international security, and we constantly see the direct impact of countering acts of terrorism.”

Yesenia has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Peace Studies and an Alternative Dispute Resolution Certificate from Chapman University. She also attended Howard University School of Law. 

In her spare time, Yesenia likes to help with community organizing efforts. “I’ve seen the direct impact that organizing can have on national and international policies, and it’s rewarding to advance our democracy.” said Yesenia. A fun fact about Yesenia is that she has summited Mount Whitney – the highest mountain in the continental US!

*This is part of an ongoing series to recognize women in nonproliferation at NNSA*