Are you interested in mentoring high school or college students, or both?
High School Students
How did you become interested in this area?
I became interested in U.S. nuclear weapons policy during my graduate studies at Missouri State's Defense and Strategic Studies Program. The program was founded by Professor William Van Cleave and at the time of my studies headed by Professor Keith Payne. Both are exceptional nuclear strategy thinkers and inspired me to become engaged in the field.
What was your career path to get here?
I came from the Czech Republic for graduate studies in 2009. I got an internship that turned into a job at The Heritage Foundation working on U.S. nuclear weapons policy and missile defense in 2010. I continue to work on these issues in my current job at the National Institute for Public Policy. I have a doctorate in political science from George Mason University on missile defense cooperation between the Czech Republic and the United States in 2019. I've also participated in the PPNT Nuclear Boot Camp, the PONI program at the CSIS, and took a course on Nuclear Safeguards at the James Martin Center at the MIIS.
Why should the public care?
Nuclear weapons are the most powerful weapons known to mankind. We've stopped thinking about them after the end of the Cold War. The issue is simply too serious to not care.
What is a current issue or trend that concerns you?
The current trend that concerns me most is general lack of knowledge of nuclear weapons issues and their history. Second, I worry about increased polarization and Twitter-ization of arguments and inability to conduct an argument in a good faith.