CCST introduces expanded class of 2020 CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows, now placed in the Legislative and Executive Branch

Interested in becoming a CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellow? CCST is currently accepting applications for the 2021 class year until March 1st.

SACRAMENTO, CA—We are proud to introduce the 2020 Class of CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellows — a program that trains scientists and engineers for careers in public policy, while helping to equip California’s decision makers with science-savvy staff.

This year, the CCST Science Fellows class was expanded to 15 fellows and, in a historic first for the program, five CCST Science Fellows were placed in the Executive Branch working in California State Agencies and the Governor’s office. This is in addition to the 10 CCST Science Fellows who were placed in the California State Legislature and are working in policy committees and member offices.

The expansion of the fellowship program was made possible by a major investment from the State of California—championed by the California State Legislature and approved by Governor Newsom—as well as continued philanthropic support.

Our 2020 CCST Science Fellows have completed PhD research at the likes of UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCLA, UC San Diego, UC Santa Barbara, University of Washington, University of Utah, Cornell University, Harvard University, Penn State University, Emory University, University of Florida,University of Virginia, and the Rockefeller University.

Their technical expertise spans fields including the use of plants to learn about atmospheric pollution, materials for hydrogen fueled vehicles, crop disease, impacts of US air quality regulations, nanoparticles, efficient solar panels, effects of air pollution on pollination, how animals process odors, Alzheimer’s, novel birth control products, and antibiotic resistance genes.

These fifteen PhD scientists reported to our downtown Sacramento headquarters in November to participate in our annual “policy boot camp” — a crash course on the process, history, and landscape of California policymaking, as well as skills development and communications workshops to prepare them for the intense, dynamic pace of the Capitol policy world.

Who are these talented, passionate professionals, and which offices are they working in now?

Let’s meet our 2020 CCST Science Fellows:

La’Shaye Cobley | California Air Resources Board
PhD: Biology, University of Utah

Brynn Cook | Office of Senator Gonzalez
Ecology, University of Virginia

Sierra Cook | Assembly Education Committee
Applied Physics, Cornell University

May Dobosiewicz | Assembly Water, Parks, & Wildlife Committee
Neuroscience, The Rockefeller University

Grayson Doucette | Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee
Materials Science, Penn State University

Rae Eaton | California Natural Resources Agency
Chemistry, University of Washington

Cristina Echeverria | Strategic Growth Council
Civil and Environmental Engineering, UCLA

Geoff Hollett | Office of Senator Archuleta
Materials Science and Engineering, UC San Diego

Jacy Hyde | Assembly Natural Resources Committee
Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida

Ken McCullough | Governor’s Office of Planning and Research / Office of Surgeon General
Neuroscience, Emory University

Maria Montchal | Senate Environmental Quality Committee
Biological Sciences, UC Irvine

Rachel Silvern | Assembly Environmental Safety & Toxic Materials Committee
PhD: Earth and Planetary Sciences, Harvard University

Nikki Soltis | Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development
Plant Biology, UC Davis

Meron Tesfaye | Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee
Chemical Engineering, UC Berkeley

Emily Wonder | Assembly Judiciary Committee
Materials, UC Santa Barbara


About CCST

CCST is a nonpartisan nonprofit created via the California Legislature in 1988 to provide objective advice from California’s leading scientists and research institutions on policy issues involving science. California’s policies are stronger with science, and CCST is uniquely qualified as an expert organization, modeled after the National Academies of Sciences, to convene a statewide network of experts across disciplines and institutions.

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