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Meet the People of IAEA Safeguards

The International Atomic Energy Agency has a world-class, diverse and multi-disciplinary workforce. With more than 2,500 staff working in a wide range of nuclear and related disciplines, it draws on their expertise to ensure the peaceful use of nuclear material and application of nuclear techniques for sustainable development. Here's a profile of one the safeguards professionals hired through the the International Safeguards Project Office.

Interview with Aaron Powell

How did you end up at the IAEA? What were you doing before you joined the IAEA?

Before joining the IAEA, I spent about 10 years working for the MITRE Corporation in McLean, VA, supporting U.S. government sponsors.

How did you learn about your current position?

I learned about my current position when the U.S. State Department paid MITRE to give the IAEA some support in the area of information security. I got to know some folks at the IAEA who were working on information security, and they let me know that a Cost-Free Expert (CFE) post was becoming available.

How will working at the IAEA enhance your career?

International experience is always in demand in the modern employment environment. Having the chance to work for a prominent international organization will make me more competitive for future career prospects.

What is the most interesting thing that has happened to you since you started working at the IAEA?

The work performed by the IAEA is regularly front-page news and is relevant to important diplomatic events. I’ve had the opportunity to consult on information security topics related to some of the biggest and most well-known challenges faced by the IAEA.

What is it like living and working in Vienna?

Vienna is a beautiful, well-managed, and relaxed city with lots to see and do. It’s also close to many other excellent European destinations and has given me a lot of great travel opportunities.

How is working abroad at the IAEA different than working in the United States?

There are people from almost every country in the world, so every employee has to invest more in clear communication and productive cooperation than they would as part of a U.S. corporation.

What advice would you give to those who are seeking employment at the IAEA?

If you’re applying for a regular post (or even as a CFE/Junior Professional Officer), patience and persistence are helpful. As a large, political, and bureaucratic organization, IAEA doesn’t have as streamlined of a hiring process as U.S. corporations.

photo of Aaron Powell

Aaron Powell
Cost Free Expert
Security Systems Analyst
Office of Information and Communication Systems