How Clean Air, and Clean Energy, Became My Mission

I grew up with a deep love for the natural world, and I’ve always spent as much time as possible outdoors. I also have a special appreciation for clean air as someone who has asthma. While I’m fortunate that it’s well-controlled with modern medicine, it’s something that I manage on a daily basis, and it has naturally impacted the course of my life, the values I hold, and the career path I eventually chose.

Another key to my career path was growing up within 10-15 miles of two nuclear power plants. Even at a young age, I had a positive view of what they were doing for the environment by providing clean energy.

My love for the outdoors helped put me on course for a career that would benefit the environment. Another important factor came in the form of a fantastic high school physics teacher, who made me think harder and smarter than any other teacher had.

With an interest in science that this remarkable teacher helped me develop, I went to college to study physics. There, my love of nature and my desire to benefit the world through technology came together. During my university studies I came to appreciate that climate change is one of the greatest challenges we will face in my lifetime. I also wanted to help preserve the beauty of the natural world, while benefiting humankind by providing us with abundant, clean energy. I concluded that nuclear power would become increasingly important to addressing energy needs in the face of this threat. And that’s how I decided to study it.

Along the way, my choice has been affirmed, as I’ve seen more of the world and the devastating impacts of energy poverty. My commitment has intensified over the years, as I’ve learned more and witnessed firsthand the impact of energy geopolitics broadly, and nuclear-energy geopolitics in particular.

Finally, my heart is now fully enlisted each time my son Clark sees smoke and asks mommy to work on getting that smoke out of the air. I am grateful to teachers and other mentors who helped me recognize my interests and pursue what I love, and I am now doing my best to provide that same encouraging leadership to those I work with every day.