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Careers and Internships

Experiences of Current and Past Presidential Management Fellows at EPA

Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Susan Anenberg

Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (Research Triangle Park)

I work in the Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, Health and Environmental Impacts Division, where I help quantify impacts of changes in global and domestic emissions on health and climate. This work is aimed at bringing science and policy together to find strategies that benefit both health and climate simultaneously.

I earned an MS in Environmental Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2008 and am currently working towards my PhD in the same field, with a subfocus in Environmental Policy. I completed my undergraduate degrees in Biology and Environmental Science at Northwestern in 2004 and was a Recommendations Specialist at the US Chemical Safety Board from 2004-2006. I’m originally from Cincinnati (who dey) and in my spare time I enjoy traveling, running, hiking, cooking, and eating.

Robert Anderson

Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Transportation and Air Quality

I graduated with an MA in Political Science from Washington State University and a BA in Political Science from Saint Martin’s College.  Prior to college, I served in the US Air Force as a Loadmaster for five years where I got to travel to over 60 countries and to 48 of the 50 states.  I also worked for the Washington State Employment Security Department, the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy, and WSU’s Office of Student Conduct.  I also was a substitute teacher for six months.

At OTAQ I work on a variety of fuels issue with most of my work focusing on renewable fuels.  I do data analysis on new fuels and fuel additives and currently I spend all of my time (it seems) evaluating the possibility of increasing the maximum allowable ethanol content in gasoline above 10 volume percent.  I also am the primary author of EPA’s fuel trends reports, and work on several rule other rulemakings.  I did a rotation as a budget detailee to OMB for the Obama Administration’s first budget (FY2010), which was quite an experience.

In my spare time, I like to read and visit museums.  My wife and I are expecting our first child in September of 2010 after which I will probably have no free time…

Katherine Antos

Office of Water, Wetlands Division

I joined the Wetlands Division in the Office of Water in July 2007.  I help state and tribal governments strengthen their programs to regulate, monitor, restore, and protect wetland resources.  I am evaluating a pilot grant program, identifying strategies for states and tribes to finance their wetlands programs, and working with EPA Regions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Midwestern states, and universities to evaluate the role of wetland restoration in reducing nutrient pollution to the Gulf of Mexico. 

Since rowing for Brown University’s Women’s Crew, I have wanted a career protecting water resources.  I graduated with a degree in Environmental Studies in 2003 and spent two years conducting regulatory analyses and program evaluations for EPA, the National Marine Fisheries Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at a Cambridge, Massachusetts consulting firm.  I earned a Masters in City Planning and an Environmental Planning Certificate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a researcher for the MIT-USGS Science Impact Collaborative.  As part of this research, I evaluated the role of public participation, consensus-building, and science in policy development and worked with USGS and the Bureau of Reclamation on water allocation disputes in Maui, Hawaii and the Columbia River Basin in Washington State. 

I am enjoying my new life in Washington, D.C. by training for local road races, exploring Virginia’s wine country, and expanding my cooking horizons with fresh produce from the Dupont Circle Farmers’ Market.

Alyssa Arcaya

Region 2, Division of Environmental Planning and Protection (New York City)

I joined EPA’s Region 2 office in New York City in July 2009 as the Regional Water Coordinator.  My work focuses on a wide array of water resource issues that affect our region, which includes New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  I coordinate our Clean Water Action Section 106 program, which provides grants to states, territories and tribes for water pollution control programs.  I’m also active in our regional climate change workgroup and interested in incorporating consideration of climate change into our water programs. 

I graduated with a Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies with a focus on climate change adaptation.  While at Yale, I interned at The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in New Delhi, India, where I worked on climate adaptation projects for several Indian states.  I was also a project associate for the Global Environmental Governance Project, helping to organize a forum on the future international environmental governance in Glion, Switzerland.  I have a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Brown University. My research there focused fisheries, particularly the Rhode Island lobster industry.

As a native New Yorker, I was thrilled to find a PMF position in my hometown.  It’s been interesting to learn about EPA’s work from a regional perspective and see the impacts of our programs on a local level.  Though I’m excited to spend a rotation in DC, I’m not ready to give up good pizza, real bagels and a subway that runs all night. 

Laura Baker

Formerly with EPA in the Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Transportation and Air Quality (Ann Arbor)

After earning a BA communications, I graduated with a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Studies in Environmental Laws from Vermont Law School.  In law school I clerked with the Department of Justice, Environmental Enforcement Section, helping to litigate several high profile power plant cases, and interned with the non-profit Trout Unlimited.  I also served as a research assistant on issues related to international environmental law and worked on behalf of the South Royalton Legal Clinic. 

Within EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ) I work in the Compliance and Innovative Strategies Division.  Here I am able to create and influence new regulatory policy for the regulation of mobile sources and ensure industry compliance with existing regulations and the Clean Air Act.

In February I completed a rotation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu, Hawaii.  There I learned about the National Wildlife Refuge System firsthand as I researched and documented shoreline and coastal access issues, historic preservation, and the applicability of Federal laws in U.S. territories.

Panah Bhalla

Office of International and Tribal Affairs

"I joined EPA's Office of International and Tribal Affairs (OITA) in 2009 as an International Environmental Program Specialist. I work in the bilateral half of the office, which partners with environmental agencies and administrations around the world to improve global environmental stewardship. I did my PMF rotation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality, where I worked on the Land and Water Team and focused on ecosystem services.

Since returning to OITA after my rotation, I have worked on both the Asia-Pacific Team and the Latin America and Caribbean Team. This opportunity has enabled me to gain a diverse set of experiences and contribute to major international engagements ranging from the Rio+20 conference to the U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. I also lead my teams' work on electronic waste and was part of the Interagency Task Force on Electronics Stewardship. I am currently organizing the Global E-Waste Management (GEM) Network.

I have wanted to work in the environmental field since childhood, but my passion for international issues developed when I was an undergraduate Environmental Sciences major at Northwestern University. I studied abroad in Mali, West Africa and did an independent research project on desertification there. After college, I lived in Vietnam as a research fellow, then went on to complete a Master of Environmental Management degree at Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. I am now enjoying living in Washington, D.C. In my spare time I try to grow vegetables in my community garden (and eat them), play softball and do yoga, and volunteer as a GED teacher. "

Julia Burch Office of Planning, Analysis and Accountability, Office of the Chief Financial Officer.

"I work in EPA's Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO) tracking and analyzing budget proposals and performance results for the CFO and EPA leadership. I serve as a key liaison for OCFO working with the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance (OECA) in executing the Agency's planning, budgeting, and performance measurement work. I also work with EPA's major program offices in the Agency's Futures and Innovative Technology workgroup. As part of this role I serve as OCFO liaison to biodigesters and biogas work group comprised of EPA staff, representatives from other federal agencies, and business and technical experts from the private sector. My PMF required rotation was to the office of Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. for eight months. I focused primarily on energy and environmental issues for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. My duties included meeting with constituents and interest groups, researching issues, briefing the Senator on topics of interest, advising staff on specific situations or requests, drafting legislation, writing letters to agencies, and working with staff from other Senate offices and federal agencies.

I came to EPA as a PMF in 2011. I graduated with a Master's of Public Affairs that same year from the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin where I studied environmental policy and dispute resolution. Prior to graduate school and EPA, I worked in Florida for about eight years in a variety of environmental positions including Public Outreach Coordinator for the Sarasota Bay Estuary Program, Land Protection Specialist and resident biologist for the Sarasota Conservation Foundation, consultant for Charlotte County Department of Parks and Recreation, and in code enforcement for Sarasota County. I also worked as a aquatic technician for Montgomery County in Maryland. I received my undergraduate degree from New College of Florida in 2002. In my spare time I enjoy hiking, gardening, ballet and exploring DC and its environs with my family."

Susan Burden ORD, OSP

"I joined the Office of Research and Development's (ORD) Office of Science Policy (OSP) in October 2010. OSP integrates and communicates scientific information from ORD's laboratories and centers as well as ORD's expert advice on the use of scientific information. As a Physical Scientist in OSP, I help to coordinate and provide support for one of ORD's multi-disciplinary research studies. I completed a rotation with the Office of Wetlands, Oceans and Watersheds (OWOW) in EPA's Office of Water during my second year as a PMF. While at OWOW, I worked on identify long-term research needs for the Clean Water Act Section 404 program, which regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States.

Prior to joining EPA, I received my B.S. in chemistry from Carroll University in Waukesha, Wisconsin, and my Ph.D. in physical chemistry from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. My husband and I moved to Alexandria, Virginia, in September 2010 and welcomed our son into the world in August 2011. "

Debra Coffel Office of the Inspector General, Office of Audits, Efficiency Audits Group (Washington, D.C.)

"I joined the EPA as a 2010 PMF and work in the Washington, D.C. Office of the Inspector General, Office of Audit, Efficiency Audits as a management & program analyst assigned to an audit team. The Efficiency Audits Product Line conducts audits of EPA programs and operations to identify ways to realize cost savings thus freeing resources for high priority environmental projects.

For my developmental assignment I was lucky enough to work with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Hawaiian & Pacific Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex in Honolulu, HI. The experience was a great value to my development as I was able to 1) analyze and evaluate appropriate technical/scientific environmental data; 2) enhance skills in evaluating information access policies/programs; 3) enhance skills in leading and supporting complex projects; and 4) enhance skills in developing written communication products and policy papers. All requirements for advancement in my career.

Prior to joining the EPA, I retired from the Air Force after 22 years. After spending some time in the private sector and unhappy with what I was doing, I decided to return to college. I obtained a bachelor's degree in business management and a master's degree in management and project management. I also obtained a certificate as a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt - skills I'm able to use in the Efficiency Audit group.

Outside the EPA, I enjoy exploring the D.C. area and experiencing the local culture. I love the diversity, entertainment, great food, and enriching opportunities available. "

Bridgid Curry

Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation

I am a 2007 PMF working in the Regulatory Analysis and Policy Division of the Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation.  In my current position, I review proposed regulations on a wide range of topics from air quality to pesticide exposure.  Prior to joining EPA, I completed a joint master’s degree program in public health and environmental management at Yale University.   During graduate school, my academic focus was on environmental epidemiology and I worked on two large epidemiological studies investigating associations between air quality and childhood asthma.  I received my bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from the University of Notre Dame and then spent several years working as a research assistant investigating how changes in climate affect nutrient dynamics in a range of ecosystems from southern temperate forests to the arctic tundra.

Matthew Davis

Office of the Administrator, Office of Children’s Health Protection

I am currently a Health Scientist at the Office of Children's Health Protection in headquarters. In that capacity, I work to shape regulations on cross-cutting environmental issues and develop interagency strategies for promoting healthy housing. For example, I participated in the work group reviewing the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for nitrogen dioxide that were recently finalized. I helped communicate the most recent scientific literature on children’s environmental health to the rest of the work group, account for children’s unique vulnerabilities, and ensure that the standard was adequately protective of children. On the issue of healthy housing, I have helped to draft a strategy to improve the coordination of federal agencies’ programs and promote a holistic approach to addressing household hazards such as lead paint, mold, pest allergens, pesticides and toxic building materials.

I completed my Master of Public Health degree at Dartmouth Medical School in 2009. Before enrolling at Dartmouth, I was the Organizational Development Regional Director for Environment America and U.S. PIRG, overseeing and advising the work of Environment Maine, Environment New Hampshire, Environment Iowa, Environment Georgia and Georgia PIRG. As part of that work, I wrote and managed grants for more than $400,000 annually to fund work in various states, and co-authored numerous policy reports on issues ranging from water pollution to global warming emissions from the transportation sector. I was the founder and Advocate at Environment Maine from 2003-2006, representing the organization to Maine media, organizations and decision makers. Previously, I was U.S. PIRG’s New England Field Organizer, organizing in Maine since 2001. I graduated from Swarthmore College in 2001 with a B.A. in Biology and an Environmental Studies concentration, Phi Beta Kappa.

Rachel Eichelberger

Office of the Chief Financial Officer, Office of Budget

I attended Illinois Wesleyan University and graduated in 2004 with a BA, majoring in Biology and Environmental Studies. I decided to go straight to graduate school at Indiana University’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs where I pursued joint Master of Public Affairs (MPA) and Master of Science in Environmental Science (MSES) degrees.  During summer breaks while in graduate school, I interned at the National Invasive Species Council and the Office of Management and Budget because I knew I wanted to work for the federal government.

When I was selected as a 2007 PMF Finalist, I knew I wanted to find a position in the environmental field, hopefully where I could utilize my science and policy background.  The PMF job fair was a bit of a blur for me.  After I returned home I got a call from the Immediate Office of the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (OCFO).  After phone and in-person interviews, I was offered a position with OCFO.  My job with the Immediate Office entailed coordinating and tracking the Agency’s work on the President’s Management Agenda.

I did rotations with OCFO’s Office of Budget (OB) as a Media Analyst and with the NEPA group in Region 8 reviewing Environmental Impact Statements.  After I got back from my Region 8 rotation, a permanent position opened up in the Multi-Media Analysis Staff in OB and I transferred there.  Currently I am one of the Media Analysts working on Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) programs.

Melissa Fiffer

OAR, Stratospheric Protection Division



"During my time as an undergraduate at Duke University, where I majored in Environmental Sciences and Policy with a minor in Biology, I got a taste for EPA. I interned in the Region 2 office as well as the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assistance (OECA). I knew that I wanted to apply my background in environmental science to the development of sound public policy. After completing my Master of Environmental Management degree, with a focus in Environmental Health, also at Duke, I applied for the PMF program.

As a PMF, I was lucky to have many varied experiences. I started out at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), where I worked on indoor environment issues including lead-based paint, mold/moisture, and asthma/allergy triggers. I completed rotations at a HUD regional office, the Office of Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), and at EPA in the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR), where I served as a special assistant to the Assistant Administrator. When my time as a PMF came to a close, I was brought on as an Environmental Protection Specialist in OAR's Stratospheric Protection Division (SPD). In SPD I have worked on both regulatory and voluntary programs. I currently manage the Responsible Appliance Disposal (RAD) program. In SPD I am learning how to develop regulations, and dipping fairly often back into my toxicology notes as I help determine which substances pose less risk to human health and the environment than the ozone-depleting substances they are replacing.

In my free time I enjoy taking in the local theater scene, writing poetry, and trying new restaurants. I attribute the constant search for good food to the fact that I grew up in Queens, NY."

Dana L. Friedman

Office of Pesticide Programs, Pesticide Re-evaluation Division

After graduating from Cornell University with a BS in Natural Resources in 2002, I took a position as a Chemist at Estée Lauder’s Research and Development facility in New York.  Working for the private sector was definitely a positive experience and I learned a great deal during my few years with the company, but since college, I had been thinking about going back to school and pursuing a career in the public sector.  I moved to Arlington, Virginia in 2005, and began working towards a Master’s Degree in Public Policy (MPP) at The George Washington University. 

When I was selected as a Presidential Management Fellow finalist in 2007, I wanted to find a position where I could utilize my undergraduate education and experience in ecology and natural resource management as well as my subsequent experiences and graduate education.  I spoke with a branch chief at the EPA’s Office of Pesticide Programs about a position as a Chemical Review Manager (CRM) and knew immediately that it was the perfect fit for my skills and interests.  As a CRM, I work with teams of scientists who assess potential exposure to and risk from pesticides, and then I work to develop risk management strategies based on these assessments.

Melissa Greer Dreyfus

Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation

I joined the Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation (OSRTI), Community Involvement and Program Initiatives Branch (CIPIB) as a PMF in September, 2008.   In this capacity, I am involved in a wide range of projects including EPA’s Green Remediation effort. I also work to encourage the development of renewable energy on formally contaminated lands and mine sites through EPA’s RE-Powering America’s Land initiative. 

From January 2009 to June 2009 I completed a detail to the EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection and Environmental Education (OCHPEE).  In this office I wrote and managed the production of fact sheets aimed at educating health providers on various environmental health risks encountered by pregnant women and/or women who may become pregnant.  I originally joined EPA as a National Network for Environmental Management Studies (NNEMS) fellow in 2006 while I was completing my Master in Public Health degree at George Washington University.

Prior to working at EPA, I graduated from Colgate University with a degree in Biology and Education in 2003. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband at DC’s many parks and museums, running, and playing in EPA’s volleyball league.

Ben Gibson

Formerly with EPA in the Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards (Research Triangle Park)

I work in EPA's Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards, where am focusing on the policy side of a variety of air quality and climate change issues.  I received a Master of Public Policy degree in May 2008 from Duke University, where I also earned a professional certificate in international development, and was a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow specializing in Russian.  Prior to enrolling at Duke, I served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine, where I worked on economic and community development issues.  Before joining the Peace Corps, I worked in the private sector as a consultant on human resource and organizational development issues.  I was born and raised in Michigan, and completed my undergraduate studies with a B.A. in economics at the University of Michigan. 

In my spare time, I enjoy playing basketball and tennis, cooking with whatever happens to be in the kitchen, and reading about international economic and political affairs.

Dave Goodman

Formerly with EPA in the Office of Inspector General, Office of Program Evaluation

As a PMF with a passion for environmental conservation and preservation, I was excited when offered a position with the EPA Office of Inspector General.  I started working for the OIG Office of Program Evaluation in August 2008.  In that position, I work in the land product line, where I conduct performance evaluations, audits, review complaints, and develop areas for future research and development relating to EPA programs involving Superfund, RCRA, Brownfields, and UST issues, among others.

I received my J.D. from William and Mary and was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 2008.  At William and Mary I focused in environmental law and worked as Technical Editor for the William and Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review.  I received my undergrad degree from James Madison University in 2004, where I majored in Economics and minored in Writing and Rhetoric.  My interests include hiking and backpacking, travel, sports, and politics.

Summer Goodwin

Formerly with EPA in the Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation, Smart Growth

After finishing my BA in Political Science and German Literature at the University of Oregon, I cut my teeth on the policy-making process in Germany as a fellow in the German Bundestag (Parliament).  I spent a year studying the federal policy process of the Federal Republic of Germany and the European Union.  My focus was social policy but it was this experience living in Germany as a fellow and during previous study abroad programs that I began to think critically about the different approach to natural resources management and the environment that Europeans take compared to Americans.  Upon my return to the US I began to pursue communications work, which led me to working for a nonprofit in Portland, Oregon for 4 years.  While working I began my master in Public Administration at the Hatfield School of Government at Portland State University where I completed my MPA with an emphasis in Communication and Policy and Natural Resources Management.  During my final year of graduate school I completed a one-year internship working in a Region 10 Office of EPA in Portland working on collaborative process for reducing toxics in the Columbia River Basin.  I especially enjoyed the inter-agency, inter-state, and inter-tribal aspect of this environmental problem-solving process.

My wonderful experience in the state operations office of EPA in led me to apply for the PMF program and eventually to seek employment with EPA and other natural resource agencies.  I now work as a program analyst in the Office of Policy, Economics, and Innovation, Performance Track Division. I serve in a communications role and handle branding, media relations, and outreach for the Performance Track program.

During the fall of 2008, I went on rotation to the Office of Water’s Immediate Office, where I worked on the update to the Agency’s strategic plan, and other planning and accountability processes. During the spring and summer of 2009 I went on rotation back to the Region 10’s State Operations Office in Portland, Oregon. There I worked as part of the Columbia River Basin Toxics Reduction team on strategic planning, communication and outreach.  I returned to Washington in 2009 to work on EPA’s program to build sustainable communities (EPA Smart Growth).

Angela Grout

Formerly with EPA in the Region 10 Office of Water and Watersheds (Seattle)

I came to the Environmental Protection Agency after working as a King County water quality planner in Seattle, WA for nearly five years.  While working for King County, I completed the midcareer graduate program in public administration at the University of Washington’s Evans School.  When selected as a Presidential Management Fellow finalist in 2008, I wanted to find a position that would utilize my technical knowledge and experience as well as my graduate education in public management and policy.  I chose to join EPA’s Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation (OPEI) as a Program Analyst within the Program Analysis Division (PAD).  As a member of PAD, my main responsibility was to support the ongoing goal-focused, data-driven meetings between program offices and the deputy administrator, and promote best practices and innovation throughout the Agency.

In August 2009, I returned to Seattle on a detail to the Region 10 headquarters office and worked as the strategic planning coordinator for the Office of Water and Watersheds and the performance management specialist for the cross-office Puget Sound Team.  Following my detail, I was offered a position on the Puget Sound Team and transferred to the region.

In addition to an MPA degree, I have earned a BS degree in Biochemistry from California State University Long Beach, an MS degree in Chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and was a PhD. candidate in Oceanography at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.  In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my husband, daughter, Siberian husky, and three cats.

Shani Harmon

Office of Policy, Economics and Innovation

I am a 2007 PMF working in the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR). As part of of OAR I work on many of the program's performance management initiatives. Prior to becoming a PMF, I completed a Master's in Environmental Management and a Bachelor's in Environmental Studies at Yale University. As an undergraduate I studied paleoclimatology and sustainable conservation and development. As a graduate student, I studied state and federal environmental justice policies. I was also an intern in EPA Region 8's environmental justice office.

Dana Hyland

Climate Change Division

"I am a 2007 PMF currently working in the Climate Change Division under the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR). I joined EPA as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Administrator of OAR. During my second year in the PMF program I completed three rotations; first, I spent seven months at the State Department working on international air toxics issues, mainly mercury; second, I traveled to Brussels for a six week rotation at the US-EU Mission to work on the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme and other climate change issues; and third, I worked on green jobs at the White House Council on Environmental Quality for eight months.

My background includes a Bachelors degree in political science, including a concentration in environmental studies, and an MPA from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs, where I studied environmental policy and natural resource management. My environmental interests led me to apply with the EPA and I have found it to be an excellent experience. "

Lesley Jantarasami

Office of Air and Radiation, Office of Atmospheric Programs

I joined the Climate Change Division of EPA’s Office of Atmospheric Programs in July 2009.  I work with a fantastic team of people supporting the development of climate change mitigation and adaptation policy through analysis and synthesis of the state-of-the-science on climate impacts on public health and the environment.  I also work on projects to assess the environmental justice implications of climate impacts such as sea level rise, and to support climate adaptation planning in Native American communities.

Prior to joining EPA, I earned Master of Science and Master of Public Administration degrees from University of Washington, with a focus in natural resource management and conservation.  I also completed a graduate certificate program in environmental management.  My undergraduate degree is from Duke University in Environmental Science and Policy.  I was first introduced to life at EPA while in grad school, where I worked with EPA’s Region 10 office in Seattle as a National Network for Environmental Management Studies (NNEMS) fellow researching low impact development and smart growth efforts in the Puget Sound region.  Outside of work, you can probably find me at the nearest tennis court, ski resort, or national park/forest.

Matt Klasen


"I'm a 2007 PMF working in EPA's Office of Water (OW). In OW, I work in the Immediate Office of the Assistant Administrator, helping to coordinate within and outside OW on mining policy, Congressional requests, and other topics.

I began my PMF career in July 2007 in EPA's Office of Environmental Information where I worked to develop and communicate environmental indicators, which help EPA and the public to understand the condition of the environment and human health. In that position, I served as staff lead of the U.S.-Mexico Border Indicators Task Force; led the development and implementation of EPA's Environmental Indicators Gateway website (www.epa.gov/indicators); and worked with a cross-Agency team to improve EPA energy and climate change measurement. I served in EPA's Region 9 office in San Francisco on a 4.5-month rotation, helping to implement the Region's Clean Energy and Climate Change strategy. Following my return to DC, I spent nine months on a rotation/detail at the White House Council on Environmental Quality where I worked to coordinate Federal policy on issues such as mountaintop coal mining and the California water Bay-Deltaissues.

Originally from the Detroit area, I obtained a bachelor's in Environmental Studies and Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis, where I worked at the university's environmental law clinic and wrote my senior thesis on national parks management. After graduation, I moved to New York City to attend Columbia's MPA Program in Environmental Science and Policy, graduating in May 2007. While in New York, I managed an environmental consulting project with community groups in the South Bronx and interned at Mayor Bloomberg's PlaNYC sustainability office. When I'm not at my desk, I'm probably busy training for various running events, biking to work, or following politics (a common DC trait). "

Lindsey Kurnath

Formerly with EPA in the Office of Homeland Security

I joined EPA’s Office of Homeland Security (OHS) as a PMF in July 2008. Our office, housed in the Administrator’s Office, coordinates homeland security activities and policy development across all EPA program areas and with other federal agencies.  In my second year as a PMF, I completed a six month detail to CEQ working for the Federal Environmental Executive on implementing a new executive order on sustainability in the Federal government.

Before moving to D.C., I completed a dual master’s degree program in environmental management and public policy at Duke University.  I also have a B.S. in Biology from Boston College and plenty of experience with snow having grown up in Rochester NY.  I first showed up at EPA in the summer of 2006 as an intern in the Office of Pesticide Programs in the Environmental Fate and Effects Division. After another summer internship at the WHO in Geneva, Switzerland, I realized there was plenty of work left to do in the US, applied to the PMF program, and luckily end up at EPA.

When not at work, I can generally be found on some sort of outdoor adventure, watching college basketball or the Yankees, doing a crossword puzzle, or exploring DC.

Mollie Lemon

OAR, Stratospheric Protection Division

"I graduated from Indiana University, Bloomington in Dec. of 2007 with a dual degree in Public Affairs and Environmental Science. As a PMF, I began my fellowship working at the Dept. of Interior on restoration ecology issues. I also completed a rotation in the Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) as a special assistant to the Assistant Administrator (AA). In this capacity I served as a liaison between OAR and other EPA offices, on issues ranging from climate change to radioactive waste disposal. The job afforded me the chance to learn a great deal about the various issues within OAR. In addition, I did a short rotation with the U.S. Agency for International Development at the embassy in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, shortly after the Jan. 2010 earthquake.

After my fellowship ended, I found a position working in OAR's Stratospheric Protection Division on ozone protection and sun safety education issues. Then, in September of 2011, I began a new position as the Communications Director for EPA's Green Power Partnership program, a voluntary program that works with organizations to increase the use of renewable energy.

In DC, I enjoy getting outside as often as I can and checking out the surrounding area, like the Shenandoah Mountains. I love to be active and to travel, and have enjoyed taking advantage of all the free events in DC. "

Drew McConville

Formerly with EPA in the Office of Air and Radiation, Immediate Office

I currently work as a special assistant to Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy, who oversees air pollution and climate change issues for EPA.  In addition to prepping the AA for meetings and coordinating her requests with senior OAR managers, I am working on cross-office projects related to energy efficiency, outreach to state on climate and energy policy, and potential collaboration with other federal agencies.

Before coming to EPA, I received a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, where I focused on environmental economics and policy.  At Duke, I also worked with the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, researching legislative options related to early action on climate change, harmonization of state and federal climate regulation, and congressional oversight for carbon markets.

This is my second stint in DC.  I previously worked for three years with the Wilderness Society, doing communications work for the campaign to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other legislative and administrative campaigns.  I graduated from Dartmouth College in 2003, and I owe a large part of my love for the outdoors and ultimate frisbee to my time in New Hampshire.

Overall, my PMF experience with EPA has been fantastic.  I work with incredibly smart people who care a lot about their work.  I’d recommend it to just about anyone. 

Eamon Monahan


"I have a bachelor's degree in government from Georgetown University and a master's in public policy from American University. Upon graduating from AU in 2008 I got a PMF position as special assistant to the Assistant Administrator in OAR. I served in that role for one year before taking two six month rotations, one with the ENERGY STAR program and one with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu, HI.

I was glad to lateral into my current position at ENERGY STAR when my Fellowship was up in 2010. As co-lead for program integrity for the ENERGY STAR products program, I developed and implemented the third-party certification procedures for ENERGY STAR products that became effective in January 2011. I currently oversee the product certification process and serve as the primary contact for EPA-recognized accreditation bodies, laboratories and certification bodies.

I have a bachelor's degree in government from Georgetown University and a master's in public policy from American University. Upon graduating from AU in 2008 I got a PMF position as special assistant to the Assistant Administrator in OAR. I served in that role for one year before taking two six month rotations, one with the ENERGY STAR program and one with the US Fish and Wildlife Service in Honolulu, HI.

I was glad to lateral into my current position at ENERGY STAR when my Fellowship was up in 2010. As co-lead for program integrity for the ENERGY STAR products program, I developed and implemented the third-party certification procedures for ENERGY STAR products that became effective in January 2011. I currently oversee the product certification process and serve as the primary contact for EPA-recognized accreditation bodies, laboratories and certification bodies. "

Julie Narimatsu

Office of Inspector General, Office of  Program Evaluation

I joined the Office of Program Evaluation’s Air & Research Product Line in late August of 2009. In my capacity as a Program Analyst, I help conduct evaluations of EPA’s air and research programs. This involves a lot of research, document review, interviewing agency and external stakeholders, and report writing and analysis. I have been able to lead interviews and take a lead role in developing reports and presenting it to management.
One of the great things about the OIG is the variety of projects - my first was a human resources issue and my current project is on EPA’s Endocrine Disruptor program. In the OIG, there is a lot of opportunity to learn about EPA’s technical programs, as well as the government environment, generally.

I received my B.S. in Environmental Policy & Behavior from the University of Michigan in 2002 and my J.D. and M.A. (International Relations) from Syracuse University in 2009.  I was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 2009. I live in Alexandria and love to take advantage of all the outdoor opportunities in the area with my dog.

Matt Robinson

Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water,
Targeting and Analysis Branch

I completed my bachelor’s in biology and a business certificate at Indiana University in 1999. After graduation, I worked at my dream job as a wilderness instructor for Voyageur Outward Bound School in upper Minnesota. I also worked in retail management in the off-season. Dreams change, and as mine evolved, I moved to a non-profit based at both Depaw University and Indiana University where I got the chance to work on social justice issues, fund raising, mentoring, and international economic development. The issues I encountered during those three years drove me back to school. In 2008, I received a Masters of Public Affairs in Economic Development and Environmental Policy, and a Masters of Environmental Science in Water Resources Management, both also from Indiana University. The focus of my studies centered on the human-environment nexus; specifically, as it relates to human microeconomic potential and change(s) in quality of life in developing nations as improvements to water resources (issues of quality, quantity, and distribution) are affected.

I started as a PMF with EPA’s Office of Ground Water and Drinking Water in October of 2008. So far, EPA has given me the opportunity to work on emerging drinking water contaminants, and the question of whether and how to regulate these pollutants. I am also involved in the development of benefit-cost modeling for drinking water contaminant regulation levels.

I typically bike to work, rain or shine. I enjoy long (12 hours or more) endurance events—mountain biking, orienteering, and adventure racing. I also like to write poetry and short stories.

Naomi Rowden Office of Inspector General, Office of Program Evaluation (Seattle, WA)

"I joined the Office of Program Evaluation's Land Cleanup and Waste Management product line in September 2011. As a Program Analyst, I participate as part of a team conducting evaluations of EPA programs in the land cleanup and waste management areas. I perform research, document review, data analysis, interview EPA staff, and write and prepare reports. I have been able to lead interviews and take a lead role in developing reports and presenting it to management.

Prior to joining EPA, I earned my J.D. at the University of Oregon School of Law with a focus in environmental and Indian law, as well as a Master's degree in Conflict and Dispute Resolution. My undergraduate degree is from the University of Washington in Philosophy. Though my position at EPA started in Washington, DC I am excited to be relocating to the Region 10 office where I will be thoroughly enjoying the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest! "

Megan Samenfeld-Specht

Office of International Affairs

I am a 2009 PMF in EPA’s Office of International Affairs (OIA).  Our office works with EPA's program and regional offices, government agencies, and other nations and international organizations, to identify international environmental issues and help implement technical and policy options to address them.  My PMF position is focused on environment, trade and finance - I work on the Trade and Economics team within the Office Of Global Affairs and Policy in OIA.  Prior to becoming a PMF I completed a masters program at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.  I have a background in international environmental policy and negotiations, as well as experience working with non-profit organizations in the US.  I am new to DC, but am enjoying exploring the city!

Laura Sauls


After completing a MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Oxford in 2009, I began work with the Office of Global Affairs and Policy in the Office of International & Tribal Affairs. In this office, I have worked on the UN climate change negotiations, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+ 20), and topics including climate change adaptation and urban sustainability. For my PMF rotation, I spent time at the U.S. Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in preparation for Rio+20 and fostering partnerships with in-country stakeholders. ?I currently coordinate several of EPA's Arctic efforts, and work on the Arctic Council, short lived climate pollutants, and shipping in the Polar regions. In addition to working at EPA, I play in several volleyball leagues and enjoy the excellent array of brunches that DC has to offer!

Daniel Teitelbaum

OCSPP, Toxic Release Inventory Program

"I joined EPA's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) Program in 2009 after graduating from Columbia University's MPA in Environmental Science and Policy program. TRI is a community right-to-know program that collects and publishes information on how industrial facilities use, manage, and dispose of toxic chemicals?and in what quantities. The goal of TRI is to empower citizens, through information, to hold companies and local governments accountable in terms of how toxic chemicals are managed.

Currently, I am the Pollution Prevention (P2) Staff Lead for the TRI Program, which means I promote the collection, dissemination, and use of information about environmental performance and effective P2 practices. This work involves extensive data analysis, stakeholder engagement, web application development, and cross-Agency coordination. In the past, I have also worked on regulatory development for the TRI program and completed a PMF development assignment in EPA Region 2, where I worked on greenhouse gas quantification and other another analyses related to climate change."

Sarah Uhl Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics

"I am focused on improving the system for protecting people and the environment from toxic chemicals. As a PMF at U.S. EPA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., I help to craft new and update existing regulations for chemicals of concern. Before EPA, I was a Switzer Fellow and master's student at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. There, I studied environmental epidemiology with a focus on endocrine-disrupting chemicals and particulate matter air pollution. My research explored the degree to which factors such individuals' age, race, and socioeconomic status are associated with their susceptibility to the metabolic and reproductive health effects of perfluorinated compounds and phthalates.

Before Yale, I spent four years working for the non-profit organization Clean Water Action. During that time, I spearheaded the Coalition for a Safe & Healthy Connecticut, an alliance of citizens, health professionals, workers, environmental justice leaders, educators, scientists, and faith communities working to replace toxic chemicals in everyday products and industry with safer alternatives. Under my leadership, the Coalition grew from 12 to 52 active member organizations and successfully campaigned for five pieces of nationally significant state legislation. The legislation included modernized lead and asbestos standards for children's products (2008), a first-in-the-nation phase-out of bisphenol-A from reusable food and beverage containers and infant formula and baby food cans and jars (2009), green cleaning requirements for public schools (2009), cadmium restrictions for children's jewelry (2010), and the establishment of the Chemical Innovations Institute at the University of Connecticut Health Center (2010). Prior to taking on that role, I worked for Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund as a community organizer and as coordinator of the Connecticut Alliance Against Diesel Pollution. In 2007, the Alliance successfully advocated for $10 million in funding to retrofit all 3,400 polluting school buses in the state. Before Clean Water Action, I worked for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Yellowstone Ecological Research Center. I am a 2006 graduate of Dartmouth College. There, I studied terrestrial ecosystem ecology and organized a successful campaign to hire the College's first Sustainability Coordinator. In my free time, I enjoy long-distance running, cooking, and exploring new places near and far. "

Christine Zachek

Formerly with EPA in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, National Program Chemicals Division

As a PMF in the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, I work towards the Agency’s priority of assuring the safety of chemicals in products, the environment, and our bodies. Our office develops regulations under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to protect human health and the environment from potentially harmful substances. My work also involves creating and reviewing public outreach materials, websites, and guidance documents designed to increase awareness of and reduce exposure to environmental hazards.

Before joining EPA in August 2009, I completed my Master of Public Health degree at Boston University with a concentration in Environmental Health. I received my undergraduate degree in Political Economy from Georgetown University. In graduate school, I interned for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in the Occupational Health Surveillance Program where I gathered and analyzed data on the relationship between cleaning products and occupational asthma, and created an educational brochure for workers in health care settings. I am originally from North Carolina and enjoy Hoyas basketball, NPR, yoga, and exploring D.C.’s culinary scene and trying to replicate dishes in the tiny kitchen of my studio apartment. 

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