After an AGU Congressional Science Fellowship in 1997–1998,I decided to pursue science policy further. I spied an ad in the Sunday Washington Post advertising for someone with a science degree, who also had knowledge of the United Kingdom, and science policy experience on Capitol Hill. In addition to my Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles and the Congressional Science Fellowship, I had spent two years in the U.K. as a post-doc at Queen Mary and Westfield College in London.
I applied for the job, which was at the British Embassy in Washington, D.C., and was hired. The UK Foreign Office has a tradition of hiring many of its embassy staff locally; they consider knowledge of local politics and issues very use ful for their interests. Now I cover hard science issues, including space and the Internet for Her Majesty's Government.