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Inaugural Class of GW-NSWG Congressional Nuclear Security Fellows Selected


Learn more about the 2017 Congressional Nuclear Security Fellows


WASHINGTON—The George Washington University Nuclear Security Working Group today announced the selection of two nuclear policy professionals to serve as inaugural Congressional Nuclear Security Fellows. Fellows will work collaboratively to cultivate and expand bipartisan discourse in Congress on nuclear security issues. They will also work to establish the Congressional  Nuclear Security Working Group (CNSWG) as a non-partisan clearinghouse for nuclear security expertise and engagement on Capitol Hill. Fellows will serve a one-year term during the first session of the 115th Congress.

Minsu Crowder-Han will serve in the office of Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), a principal member of the CNSWG. Crowder-Han most recently managed Federally-funded nuclear security projects at CRDF Global, an independent nonprofit organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration. She also spent two years in the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Division of Nuclear Security. She holds two Masters of Arts, from Georgetown University and King’s College London.

Nate Sans will serve in the office of CNSWG Co-Chair Congressman Pete Visclosky (D-IN). Sans previously managed a major study of the International Atomic Energy Agency at the Partnership for a Secure America, a nonprofit organization founded by former Congressman Lee Hamilton and Senator Warren Rudman to advance bipartisanship on critical national security and foreign policy challenges. Sans is a former non-resident junior fellow at the Center for the National Interest and a graduate of Middlebury College.

Fellows will also work with Brett Broderick, a staff member of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board on temporary assignment to the office of CNSWG founding co-chair Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE).

“I am pleased to be working with such an impressive group of fellows to continue to raise the level of focus and engagement on nuclear security issues in Congress,” said Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), co-chair and founder of the Congressional Nuclear Security Working Group. “The spread of nuclear materials and technology to malevolent actors continues to be one of the principal threats to American national security. This fellowship will provide much needed expertise and support the Congressional Nuclear Security Working Group’s goal of developing effective responses to the nuclear security challenges facing our nation.”

Fellows were selected through a competitive application process that evaluated professional and academic excellence, especially policy experience; familiarity with the legislative and executive branches, and nuclear security; demonstrated interpersonal, organizational, and communications skills; and strength of references/recommendations. Applications were reviewed by a committee comprising senior Elliott School of International Affairs faculty and representatives from CNSWG member offices.

“National security challenges are increasingly complex and place high demands on the attention and expertise of decision makers,” said Christopher Kojm, Visiting Professor of the Practice of International Affairs at the Elliott School, former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council, and a participant on the Fellowship Selection Committee. “Minsu and Nate’s combination of nuclear policy expertise, communications acumen, and interpersonal skills will help fill an important gap in nuclear know-how on Capitol Hill.”

Describing the impetus for this fellowship, Elliott School Professor and GW Nuclear Security Working Group Chair Janne Nolan said, “this fellowship advances multiple overlapping goals. First, we wanted to bring in emerging experts and professionals who could stand to benefit a great deal from being on the Hill, working for Members of Congress and learning about the legislative process. Second, we wanted to elevate the profile of the Congressional Nuclear Security Working Group, to provide a mechanism for bipartisan engagement on nuclear issues in Congress away from the politics and posturing that characterizes so much public discourse on foreign affairs.”

The Congressional Nuclear Security Fellowship is administered by the Nuclear Security Working Group at the George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs (GW-NSWG), with grant support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

About the GW Nuclear Security Working Group

The Nuclear Security Working Group at the GWU Elliott School of International Affairs (GW-NSWG) is a bipartisan group of senior foreign policy experts working behind the scenes to build consensus on pressing nuclear security issues and promote bipartisan discourse about the benefits of nuclear diplomacy. Chaired by Dr. Janne Nolan and with membership drawn from a wide variety of professional backgrounds, the GW-NSWG enables the nation’s leading experts in international security and nuclear issues to share information and collaborate.

About the Congressional Nuclear Security Working Group

The CNSWG draws on leading congressional, executive branch, and private sector expertise on nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and homeland security to identify significant vulnerabilities and develop effective responses to improve nuclear safeguards, secure fissile materials, and prevent the misuse of sensitive nuclear materials and technologies.

About GW’s Elliott School of International Affairs

The George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs is one of the world’s leading schools of international affairs. Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., its mission is to educate the next generation of international leaders, conduct research that advances understanding of important global issues and engage the policy community in the United States and around the world.