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Michelle Lenihan is a senior advisor on policy management and Operations to the Chief of Operations within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). Michelle has worked at the Pentagon, in a variety of different positions, since 2005. Among the roles she’s held: principal director in the Office of African Affairs, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for African Affairs and chief of staff for ASD Homeland Defense and Global Security.  Michelle is also an officer in the U.S. Navy Reserves. Prior to her work at the Pentagon, Michelle was an associate producer and senior production associate at ABC News. She earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Spanish from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. 

WHAT YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT IN THIS EPISODE:

  • What the best way is to break into a career in national security  (4:27)
  • Why to look out for Fellowship opportunities in your career services office on campus and here on this website — scroll down to find them
  • How much your major matters (7:30)
  • Why a grad school degree is essential to work in policy at the Pentagon (8:50)
  • Why traveling to other countries is so critical to give you valuable insights in this field (11:05)
  • How playing competitive Division I sports taught Michelle defining life lessons (12:15)
  • What Michelle’s favorite thing is about her career (15:30)
  • What java junkies would be surprised to learn about Michelle’s job in national security (19:40)
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