Policy & Popcorn: “What A Policy Fellowship Can Do For You”

About the Session
Policy fellowships provide scientists and engineers with invaluable, front-row access to policymakers and the legislative process—critical to bridging the gap between scientific research and informed policy. This panel discussion will explore the unique opportunities that different policy fellowships provide, what to keep in mind during the application process, and how the fellowship experience can help shape scientific career paths. Panelists will share specific insights pertaining to the American Association for the Advancement of Science Policy Fellowship Program, the Presidential Management Fellowship Program, the California Council on Science & Technology Fellowship Program, and the Sea Grant Fellowship Program.

 

About the Speakers
Amber Mace is the Executive Director of the California Council on Science and Technology (CCST) and a Policy Fellow with the UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy. Amber devotes her time to building new and revitalizing existing programs and organizations that are dedicated to increasing the impact and value of science-informed decision-making. Amber earned her B.A. in geography from UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. in ecology from UC Davis. She is currently pursuing an Executive MBA at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. She is an alumna of two Sea Grant Fellowships: the California State Fellowship and the Knauss Federal Fellowship.

David Ernest García has been the Legislative Director for the California Air Resources Board since June 2019. From 2016 to 2019, Dr. García was a consultant to the California State Senate Standing Committee on Environmental Quality. He was a legislative consultant in the Office of California State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson from 2014 to 2016 and a California Council on Science and Technology Fellow from 2013–2014 in the Office of then-Assemblymember Nancy Skinner. He earned his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California-Berkeley.

Alison LaBonte became a supervisor at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) after her job as Program Manager of U.S. Department of Energy’s Marine and Hydrokinetic Technology Program. Alison is working to meet California’s aggressive climate goals and reduce hardships for vulnerable populations by securing the growth and value of residential energy efficiency. Alison completed the AAAS fellowship in 2011 in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She earned her Ph.D. in Oceanography from Scripps Institute of Oceanography.

Johanna Zetterberg is a clean energy professional with over ten years of experience at the U.S. Department of Energy. She currently manages the development of strategies, technical resources and analyses to inform state and local decision-making on topics related to electric power system planning. Johanna has also led coalition-building efforts with industry, government, and non-profit leaders to advance energy efficiency, and served on a small leadership team overseeing the administration of nearly $12 billion in grant funding to 2,300 state, local, and tribal governments under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Johanna is a former Presidential Management Fellow. She holds a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a B.A. in Psychology from Pomona College.