Defense Threat Reduction Agency Beefs Up Work Force With Newly Minted PhDs
By Grace V. Jean
FORT BELVOIR, Va .— Facing a large number of retirements in its work force in the next five years, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency’s chemical and biological technologies directorate is seeking young, ambitious scientists.
Fresh talent is needed to manage projects in the chemical and biological defense areas.
The agency has started an internship program targeted at recent graduates in specialized fields.
“We’re willing to make a commitment to the young people,” said John Connell, special assistant to the director of the chemical and biological technologies directorate. The government is spending about $1.5 million annually to groom these interns. During the two-year internship, participants spend six-month rotations in three of the agency’s seven divisions, and a fourth rotation outside of the chem-bio field.
Response from within the organization has been positive so far.
“The fact that every single time somebody leaves a rotation, there’s some effort to keep them from leaving shows me that the message is starting to get out, and there’s an appetite for more,” he said.
At the end of the two years, the interns are certified as acquisition professionals in science and technology.