Five Bush School graduates participated in the second annual Strategic Force Analysis Boot Camp, held August 6-9 at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque and organized by Georgetown University. Julie Thompson-Gomez (‘16), Eric Gomez (‘15), Shannon Abbott (‘18), Noelle Camp (‘19), and Jack Huguley (‘13) were among 25 participants selected from over 100 candidates to attend.
All are currently working in related fields or continuing their education. Julie Thompson-Gomez is pursuing a PhD at George Washington University, while Eric Gomez is a policy analyst at the Cato Institute. Shannon Abbott works in R&D systems research and analysis at Sandia National Laboratories, Noelle Camp is a systems engineering professional at Sandia National Laboratories, and Jack Huguley is pursuing his PhD at Brandeis University.
The Boot Camp is open to scholars and analysts of all ages, though preference will be given to those in the early stages of their careers, and seeks to prepare the next generation of analysts for critical academic and policy debates.
The program’s purpose is to teach participants some of the tools of nuclear force analysis so they can better understand and participate in debates about strategic deterrence and stability. Sessions were focused on learning the methods of nuclear force analysis, including the technical tools needed to assess force structure, arms control, and modernization proposals. Participants also learned traditional and new techniques for assessing the nuclear balance, understanding the impact of emerging technologies, and evaluating arms control proposals, and took part in a nuclear arms scenario and a nuclear war game.
Thompson-Gomez credited several Bush School professors for encouraging her interest in nuclear policy research. “The fantastic professors at the Bush School, like Jasen Castillo and Andy Ross, taught me how to link academic theory to policy, which is an important aspect of analyzing nuclear policy issues,” she said.
Professor Andrew Ross encouraged a number of his students to apply for the Boot Camp and said that he was “extremely pleased that our students are continuing the work they began with us. It’s also good to see that Bush School grads accounted for 20 percent of the candidates admitted to what is a first-rate program.”
Professor Jasen Castillo also added his support for the program: “After leaving our courses students will be ready to tackle the most pressing and difficult national security problems, including US nuclear weapons policy, which is a topic long neglected by many.”