School of Public Policy Names First Three Byers Fellows

Portrait montage of the first three Byers Family Pathways to Policy Fellows: Taylor Clarke, Vincent Gu, and Jazmin Rivera.

Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy has named its first Byers Family Pathways to Policy Fellows and the offices where they will spend their internships in Washington.

Why it matters: These fellowships, funded by a transformative gift from Brook Byers and family, aim to develop future leaders in energy policy. The recipients will gain invaluable experience through year-long internships in Washington while expanding the School’s network and reach in the nation’s capital. The program also gives crucial support for students to live in Washington for a year.

“One of my key missions is to highlight the critical role of data in shaping effective policy,” said Jazmin Rivera, who will be working on decarbonization policy in U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy’s office. “I believe that educated policymakers are essential for creating robust, evidence-based legislation. Through this fellowship, I aim to see legislation passed that is informed by my work, learn more about energy policy from the source, make bipartisan connections, and gain insights from productive activism."

Joining Rivera in Washington:

  • Taylor Clarke: Focusing on environmental policy in the office of Sen. Jon Ossoff.
  • Vincent Gu: Ph.D. student serving on the Senate Budget Committee, representing Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island.

“Working with the Senate Budget Committee offers unique opportunities to interact with various government agencies and understand the collaborative efforts on climate issues,” Gu said. “Through this fellowship, I hope to gain a deeper understanding of the technical requirements for implementing climate solutions like hydrogen and electric vehicles and the work needed to make them feasible."

The big picture: Energy policy expertise is critical as the nation and world navigates the climate crisis, and programs like this show Georgia Tech’s School of Public Policy is delivering transformative learning experiences to prepare students for success.

“I am looking forward to what the next year holds and seeing what my peers will accomplish,” said Clarke. “Having adequate support for opportunities on the Hill is rare, so I am happy to see a program begin that can remove the cost barrier for passionate students.”

What they’re saying: “Georgia Tech students are problem solvers,” said Cassidy R. Sugimoto, Tom and Marie Patton Chair. “We're putting students in positions where they can work with national leaders in solving one of the most pressing problems of our time. We believe in education that makes a difference. This fellowship exemplifies our dedication to this value."

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Michael Pearson
Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts