Where are you from, and what do you do (the quintessential DC introduction)?
I grew up in upstate New York, studied and then worked in Boston, and have been in the DC area on and off since 2008. I am a Foreign Affairs Fellow in the NOAA Fisheries Office of International Affairs, where I support ICCAT and other regional fisheries management organizations, Magnuson-Stevens Reauthorization Act, shark and seabird bycatch issues, bilateral meetings, small-scale fisheries, and communications.
What were you doing before the fellowship?
I was doing my master’s in conservation biology at the University of Maryland. For two years before the fellowship I was serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador, where I did my research.
What inspired you to get into your field?
When I was a kid I loved swimming, the ocean, and fish and whales. In high school I liked biology and my mom encouraged me to pursue marine biology in college. I spent a semester doing research in Woods Hole, MA and I was hooked.
What do you wish you had known before the fellowship?
I wish I had known how to better work a reception. In fact I still wish I knew that…
What was your best free reception crashing experience?
The reception for the screening of “The Last Ocean” about the Ross Sea. Technically I wasn’t crashing, but still it was free. And it was at National Geographic. And Secretary Kerry spoke. And there was a potato bar. Enough said.
Secretary of State, John Kerry
What is your favorite DC hangout?
Never ask me to choose one favorite. I like Eastern Market, National Gallery, Phillips Collection, 9:30 Club, Boundary Stone, Kramer Books, Wonderland, Georgetown Waterfront.
What is your favorite DC restaurant?
My top picks would be Busboys and Poets, The Heights, Founding Farmers, Dukem, Lauriol Plaza, food trucks!
What has your favorite experience been so far this year?
I had the opportunity to go to an FAO meeting and see how a large multinational negotiation takes place with interpretation into 6 languages and how fisheries issues I am interested in are thought about in many different governments. Plus, Rome!
Where do you see yourself going after the fellowship?
I see myself staying in DC and continuing to work on fisheries issues, although I am not sure in what arena. Eventually I want to return to working internationally.
If you could be any ocean creature, what would it be and why?
I would be a stingray or a cuttlefish. I think it’s obvious why.