Policy Entrepreneurship Fellowship

The Policy Entrepreneurship Fellowship (PEF) empowers and guides selected early-career participants to move their policy proposals from idea to reality. During this six-month experience, each PEF works as a part-time FAS affiliate to (i) help their specific ideas gain traction among practitioners and decision makers, and (ii) identify and pursue opportunities for impact in underlying policy areas of interest. PEF participants receive a $5,000 stipend as well as ongoing guidance from policy and technical experts in the FAS community, opportunities for formal training on topics like budgetary analysis and science communication, access to FAS programming and facilities, professional editing services, and more.

PEF’s inaugural cohort comprises four alumni of the FAS x National Science Policy Network (NSPN) Early Career Science Policy Accelerator.

Fellows include

Megan Damico
University of North Carolina Greensboro

Megan Damico (she/her) is a Policy Entrepreneurship Fellow with the Federation of American Scientists. She is a PhD candidate of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG) where she uses the honey bee as a model system to study microbial ecology and evolution of host-associated gut microbiomes. Megan holds a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Allendale, Michigan where she also began training to become a beekeeper and was the president of the GVSU Beekeeping Club for two years. As a graduate student at UNCG, Megan has devoted her time to studying the intricacies of the honey bee gut microbiome and developing STEM student workforce development groups focused on science policy and advocacy. In 2021, she was elected as the Southern Hub Chair of the National Science Policy Network (NSPN), where she helps NSPN members navigate professional development and career opportunities in the science policy and advocacy space. Outside of her research, Megan volunteers with the North Carolina Audubon Society in leading state-wide advocacy efforts and is an avid birder.

Lyndsey Gray, PhD MSPH (she/her) is a global health researcher and infectious disease epidemiologist with a lifelong commitment to addressing complex international problems through science diplomacy. She has trained at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Carnegie Mellon University, Emory University, and Colorado State University while leading environmental disease prevention studies in Latin America, East and West Africa, and Southeast Asia.

After completing her PhD in microbiology, Dr. Gray began using her scientific expertise in another field – creating innovative and non-conflict-based governance strategies for outer space. She is passionate about exploring the technical, geopolitical, and geoeconomic relevance of human space activity and creating a sustainable space environment.

Lyndsey Gray

Alexa White
University of Michigan

Alexa White is a Policy Entrepreneurship Fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, where she works on environmental justice and sustainable development issues across the science and technology policy landscape.

She is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. Traditionally trained as an agroecologist and herpetologist, her dissertation research focuses on biophysical indicators of sustainable agriculture and international climate governance pertaining to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #2: To End Hunger.

Grace Wickerson (they/them) is a Policy Entrepreneurship Fellow with the Federation of American Scientists. They are a Ph.D. student in Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University, where their research focuses on therapeutic medical devices that safely dissolve in the body after use.

They are passionate about re-tooling engineering education to serve the public good. Recently, Grace co-founded Heal Our Future, a mobilizing effort that uses policy, innovation, community-organizing, and organizational-capacity-building to imagining a more equitable health system.

Grace Wickerson
Northwestern University