Diana Parr, adjunct instructor for the Cybersecurity Graduate Program, has been selected to participate in the highly competitive Brookings Legis Congressional Fellows Program. The year-long program allows professionals in the public and private sectors to work on Capitol Hill alongside individual members of the U.S. Congress or on a congressional committee to understand the policy-making side of government.
“I am most excited about the opportunity to work for a member of Congress and to learn how the legislative process flows. It will be a huge time for change on Capitol Hill—a new president and many newly elected officials. I would like to bring my technical knowledge to the Hill as those new officials discuss legislation relating to cybersecurity,” she said.
In addition to her role at UMBC, Parr is a cybersecurity technical leader for the National Security Agency. She anticipates that her work in Congress will focus on cybersecurity education.
“There are many opportunities for new legislation this year to make our nation stronger and safer,” Parr said. “My biggest hope is to build awareness of the need to grow educational opportunities for young people, especially young women, in the growing field of cybersecurity.”
Jeff Hayter ’09, political science and mathematics, has also been selected to participate in the Brookings Legis Congressional Fellows Program. He is currently a program analyst at the Bureau of International Information Programs, where he is a responsible for the strategic planning and resource oversight.
“I recognize this fellowship as a unique opportunity to peer behind the curtain of the legislative process. Very few people are afforded such a great learning opportunity,” Hayter said. “In addition to learning the ins-and-outs of policymaking, I hope to use to the fellowship to grow as a leader and broaden my expertise in foreign policy. To be honest, I’m not sure there has ever been a more interesting time to be on the Hill.”
During his time at UMBC, Hayter interned with the State Department. After graduation, he accepted a full-time position as a Freedom of Information Act Specialist with the State Department, where he worked until he moved to his current role at the Bureau of International Information Programs.
More information about the Brookings Legis Congressional Fellows Program can be found on the Brookings Institution website.
Header image by Robert Lyle Bolton, CC by 2.0. Parr’s headshot by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC. Hayter’s headshot courtesy of Jeff Hayter.