Career Center

In the Spotlight: Noel P. Gurwick, PhD

"Discovering how diverse groups work is key to establishing fit between an organization's priorities and one’s personal interests"

Stanford Affiliation: Postdoctoral Fellow
School: Humanities & Sciences
Department: Biological Sciences, Carnegie Institution, Department of Global Ecology
Degree: PhD
Industry: Government and Non-profit
Position:
US Department of State/AAAS Fellow, Union of Concerned Scientists/Senior Scientist for Climate Change and Agriculture
Location: Washington, DC

"I have a career-level commitment to contributing at the science-policy interface around issues concerning the environment.  I had worked at this interface at the local, regional, and state level but not really at the national or international scales.  I conducted perhaps 20 informational interviews and also applied widely for science-policy positions, and in the process uncovered a lot of information about how different organizations work and about the fit between their priorities and my interests.  The AAAS fellowship provided unparalleled access to the science-policy community in Washington DC and a unique entry-point into helping the US government in its international engagements.  As events unfolded, it has been particularly gratifying to have the opportunity to contribute during the first months of the Obama administration.  My portfolio has focused on US relationships with countries in Latin America and partnerships to promote sustainable production and consumption of biofuels in developing countries.  My colleagues at the Department of State have been terrific, and I've added considerably to my skill set and my understanding of how diverse institutions work.  Although the subject-matter fit with my particular office wasn't quite right, it has been a very good year.  In July 2009 I'll be moving to the Union of Concerned Scientists, as Senior Scientist for Climate Change and Agriculture."

Noel P. Gurwick
June 2009

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