Sea Grant Announces 2023 Finalists for the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program

July 27th, 2022

The 86 finalists in the 2023 class of the Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Sea Grant have continued the tradition of the Sea Grant John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship program and have announced the finalists of the 2023 class. The finalists, who are early career professionals, will be placed in Washington, D.C. federal government offices. The 2023 class represents the largest in recent years with 86 finalists. Since 1979, over 1,550 fellows have completed the one-year Knauss fellowship program, applying their experience to lasting careers in science, policy, and public administration.

New Jersey Sea Grant’s very own nominee, Alexandra Swanson of Princeton University, has been chosen as a finalist for the prestigious Fellowship and we wish her luck on her journey!

Alexandra Swanson, Princeton University; New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium

NJSGC Executive Director, Dr. Peter Rowe notes “NJSGC is extremely thrilled that Alexandra Swanson has been selected as a 2023 Knauss Fellowship finalist. Ms. Swanson’s experiences at Brown and Princeton, from her being a policy analyst for the Providence City Council, to her Peace Corps work in Panama, and her current conservation internship at the Council on Environmental Quality make her a truly outstanding candidate. Given Alexandra’s background and characteristics, especially her maturity and vision, her drive, and her scientific talents, Ms. Swanson will make an excellent Knauss Fellow. NJSGC wishes her the best success.”

Knauss finalists are chosen through a competitive process that includes comprehensive review at both the state Sea Grant program and national levels. Students that are enrolled in or have recently completed master’s, Juris Doctor (J.D.), and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) programs with a focus and/or interest in marine and coastal science, policy or management apply to one of the 34 Sea Grant programs. If applicants are successful at the state program level, their applications are then reviewed by a national panel of experts. This year’s class of 86 finalists comprises students and recent graduates from 62 distinct universities, including 16 finalists from nine minority-serving institutions. The finalists represent 29 of the 34 Sea Grant programs, and they completed coursework and research in a range of fields, such as biology, chemistry, ecology, engineering, environmental science and management, law, marine and coastal sciences and policy, and several disciplines of oceanography.

“The Knauss Fellowship offers graduate students the invaluable opportunity to put their academic knowledge to practice in tackling marine, coastal, and Great Lakes management and policy challenges at the federal level,” said Jonathan Pennock, Ph.D., National Sea Grant College Program director. “We look forward to welcoming the 2023 class of Knauss fellows and seeing how they will apply their unique insights to developing solutions to some of the most important challenges facing the country.”

In an effort to be more equitable and inclusive, the application process for the 2023 Knauss Fellowship was restructured from past years. This included shifting from a generic personal statement to a series of short-answer questions that tapped into applicants’ creativity, practical skills and commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice, along with updated application evaluation criteria that more fully acknowledged the diversity of experiences that a student may bring to the fellowship. 

Deputy Assistant Administrator for NOAA Research and former Knauss Fellow Emily Menashes offered her reflections on the fellowship. “No two Knauss Fellowship placements are the same, as this program is uniquely able to cater to the individual strengths and interests of each fellow. I look forward to learning more about each of the 2023 Knauss finalists.” 

Read more about the Knauss Fellowship and other Finalists.