Lance Stubblefield, MS IA 2001, almost missed being in the publication of our first online alumni spotlight due to travels through Japan. We're glad we got a chance to catch up with him and ask him a few questions about his life since Tech. Lance is currently a project manager (Asia Pacific and the Middle East) with the Office of Export Control Policy and Cooperation at the National Nuclear Security Administration. He received a Recognition Award for Excellence in his first year with his current office.
What does your job entail?
I manage all nuclear-related, U.S. export control outreach activities in Asia Pacific and the Middle East for the U.S. government. I hold a top secret with SCI clearances in order to evaluate all available intelligence to aid in developing strategy for engagement with countries in the Middle East and Asia Pacific and implement export control outreach programs. I also brief high-level government officials on export controls in these regions, as well as draft briefing papers on regional export controls and my team's work.
What do you enjoy about your job? What are the most challenging facets?
I manage all the nuclear-related export control outreach activities in 18 countries in my joint portfolio. Keeping up with all the developments in these countries is extremely challenging as well as managing a multi-U.S. national lab team to develop and implement these trainings. That said, I enjoy every bit of it, especially the people. I have the special honor to represent the U.S. government abroad and often travel to many of these countries to conduct these trainings. The travel can be a bit tiring, but it is likely the most visible part of my work, and often the most rewarding.
What did you take away from your experiences at Tech?
My most important experiences from Georgia Tech included the very timely and practical exercises Bill Hoehn, PhD, brought to class. His timely classes and experience working in Washington really helped me in understanding how many important issues are engaged in Washington as well as thinking through the considerations of each decision. Also, I became interested in export controls in my first few semesters at Tech while reading materials concerning China. I specifically became interested in CoCom and the implications of its dissolution. Tech provided me the relevant forum to address the more technical aspects of international affairs through examining export controls, strategic commodities, and military modernization in China. I would like to thank the very practical studies guided by Hoehn, as well as helpful input from Bill Long, John Garver, and Vicki Birchfield for bearing with my likely tedious research and adding excellent comments and critique.
Any advice you'd like to share with our students?
I would like to stress the value of internships if a student wants to have a career in Washington. I entered into the NNSA through the Nonproliferation Graduate Program, one of the few paid internships that gets you a security clearance while you work. This allowed me to get practical experience, the opportunity to work export controls at the State Department and ultimately find the job I have now through the many contacts I made while working.
So, what does Lance do for fun?
In my personal time, I still enjoy reading a great deal and spend a great deal of time at Barnes and Noble, after work. My reading interests center around international intelligence agencies' history and international special operations history. I am currently studying Mandarin Chinese and standard Arabic to supplement my work with a colleague. I continue to maintain fluency in Russian.