New alum begins federal career in national security

February 6, 2023

"Isaac Dietrich headshot"Seven years ago, Isaac Dietrich (MPIA ‘22) started a summer job through college as a farm hand. “I wonder what I would have thought back then. Today I think: anything is possible,” he shared on LinkedIn. 

He had just taken his oath of office to begin his stay as a Class of 2022 Presidential Management Fellow with the National Security Division of the USDA’s Office of Homeland Security. “Today, I joined a team of policy makers and analysts working on agriculture and national security issues,” he wrote.  

Dietrich is excited to be in a field that most wouldn’t associate with traditional national security issues.  

“The scope of USDA is so wide, so being able to learn, get involved with, and support many of its agencies and offices through the Office of Homeland Security is something I’m looking forward to,” he shared. 

One of the ways that OHS support U.S. national security, Dietrich explained, is by participation in interagency policy efforts that support U.S. food and agricultural interests. “For example, USDA works on issues related to resilience of food and agricultural supply chains, and tracks issues related to geopolitical situations around the world that may have significant impacts here and abroad.” 

When reflecting on how his time as a graduate student prepared him for this next step in his federal career, Dietrich had this to say:  

“GSPIA provided me with a wholistic view of national security in the U.S. which has been super valuable as I’ve come on board with the team. The courses offered at GSPIA allowed me to shape my experience the way I wanted to, while at the same time prepared me for a role I didn’t necessarily know I would step into. That’s a win-win.”