Ms. Cynthia Lersten

Department of Energy Chair

Department of Energy Chair

Eisenhower School

Cynthia Lersten, a member of the Senior Executive Services, serves as a Senior Policy Advisory for the Department of Energy (DOE)/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the U.S. Government agency responsible for maintaining a safe, secure, and effective nuclear deterrent; preventing, countering, and responding to the threats of nuclear proliferation and terrorism worldwide; and providing naval nuclear propulsion.

Since joining DOE in 1995, Ms. Lersten has held numerous positions in both the United States and overseas, including Russia, the United Arab Emirates and Nicaragua.  Ms. Lersten has served in key Departmental leadership positions, including the Associate Administrator for Management and Budget and Associate Deputy Administrator within the Office of Defense, Nuclear Nonproliferation (DNN). She has served in many policy capacities, including representing leadership at UN meetings in her current capacity, in addition to the policy role she served while in DNN. With her notable nuclear security experience, she works on key national security issues, while passionately developing the next-generation pipeline of national security experts.

Ms. Lersten received a Presidential Meritorious Rank Award for her work in globally reducing weapons of mass destruction and her achievements in mentoring and training across government. She graduated from University of Wyoming with a B.A. in International Studies and minor in Economics, studied abroad in Malta and obtained her M.A. from George Washington University in Security Policy Studies. She also worked for former Wyoming Senator Alan K. Simpson. Ms. Lersten is married and has four children.