By Sophia Macartney
My name is Sophy Macartney and I am a Spring 2023 Herbert Scoville Junior Fellow at the Center. I graduated from the University of Georgia in December 2022 with degrees in International Affairs and Sociology but without a clear vision of how to break into the national security world — until Scoville. I am the first in my family born in the United States, the first to graduate college, and the first in the national security field. Although I moved around growing up, my mom and sister still live in Augusta, Georgia, so Augusta is home. Coming from a background with no prior connections to national security, I knew my efforts to work in national security would have to be targeted and intentional to gain any traction. And that’s how the Scoville Fellowship became the ideal opportunity.
Scoville hosts two cohorts per year, awards approximately 6-10 fellowships per year and allows fellows to select from 24 host organizations to work at. It provides fellows the opportunity to work in the think-tank space and do substantive work related to national security topics, all while providing meaningful mentorship. What makes Scoville so special is its dedication to providing young professionals without other ties into the DC world a path to getting hands-on experience in national security policy. After Scoville, fellows typically go on to pursue careers in public interest areas.
While going through the host organization selection process, the Center immediately stood out to me because of its commitment to nuclear non-proliferation advocacy, strong connections to Congress and incredibly talented team. I expressed my interest in working on export control and sanctions policies as a non-proliferation issue, and Senior Policy Director John Erath immediately voiced the opportunity for me to develop the Center’s export control and sanctions program and work on Brazil’s nuclear security issues, another area of interest to me as a Brazilian. Even after only a month, I am incredibly grateful and entranced in the learning opportunities and access to Congress that the Center has allowed me.
The Center has previously hosted 12 Scoville fellows. What is unique to me is how fellows have worked on such a wide range of national security approaches, all pertaining to arms control and non-proliferation. Some examples include the intersection of gender and nuclear weapons policy, defense budget issues and North Korea and Iran nuclear proliferation. This demonstrates the reach of nuclear security and how it has become a driving force of national security now more than ever. It is all hands on deck, and Scoville and the Center have given me my seat at the table. I’m looking forward to developing the export controls and sanctions program and contributing to the on-going missions of the Center as a Scoville fellow until my fellowship ends in October.