Leyatt Betre | 2015 | Interns

Leyatt Betre (’16)

Frisco, TX

Dana Mead Intern

Physics and Political Science Major

Congressional Research Service

During my time in DC I worked as a junior research associate at the Congressional Research Service (CRS) in the Division of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Trade. Specifically, I focused on issues of WMD nonproliferation, civil nuclear cooperation, and foreign nuclear programs. CRS is the policy research arm of the Library of Congress, and thus functions as the primary source of subject matter expertise for members on the full range of policy matters dealt with by Congress. As my main project for the summer, I drafted an original CRS report on IAEA safeguards, which detailed the various nuclear monitoring and verification mechanisms underpinning the global nonproliferation regime. I also assisted the CRS nonproliferation specialists in their role of providing accurate and concise analysis on the Iran nuclear agreement for House and Senate members during the first series of congressional hearings reviewing the deal.

I found it enormously exciting to be working on Capitol Hill during one of the most contentious foreign policy debates in recent memory. Regardless of whether I was attending hearings, think tank events, or conferences around DC, there was always the sense that you were experiencing the full scope of the decision making process in real time, and with real experts who help shape those outcomes. My summer in DC could not have been more transformative or eye-opening an experience. Not only did it crystallize my plans to go into the field of arms control, it clarified the things I had been unaware I would want or need out of my career — namely the chance to solve complex problems with far-reaching human consequences, and in the context of a fast-changing international environment. I am hugely grateful to the MIT DC Program for making this summer possible, and I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking for a unique and exciting opportunity!