College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Environmental Science & Policy

Mike Penansky (Politics and Policy, 2014) finds his fit with environmental policy

Mike Penansky (Politics and Policy, Fall ’14) transferred to College Park midway through his collegiate career, wanting to graduate and find a job as an actuary. His previous experiences gave him an appreciation for environmental policy, so he was officially an ENSP major with an actuarial math minor, but he never saw himself moving into a career in public policy. That changed, he says, when he started taking ENSP courses and seeing where environmental policy fits in the bigger policy picture.

Before long, Mike was actively working toward a career in public service, including a part-time internship at the White House Council on Environmental Quality in spring 2014. After graduation, he spent 5 months at the White House’s Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. By networking at the White House, Mike was able to secure a position at the Department of Energy, in the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs, after his post-graduate internship concluded. Beginning as a Special Assistant, Mike worked diligently and earned a promotion to the position of Special Advisor, where he worked on innovative, pre-commercial technologies and energy finance issues.

With his tenure as a political appointee completed, Mike is now working at the University of Maryland’s M-Square doing data analysis and looking forward to beginning a joint Master’s degree program in business and public policy in the fall.

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