Student Profiles

Presidential Management Fellow Finalist Aims to Take Neuroscience Knowledge Into Public Service

Eleni Daughters

Eleni Daughters, a student in BGE’s M.S. in Integrative Neuroscience program, is among several dozen Georgetown students and alumni selected as finalists for the 2024 Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program.

PMF is a leadership development program in the federal government that prepares advanced degree holders for a career in public service by giving them access to an array of full-time federal government jobs open only for PMFs. Fellows will also receive professional development and networking opportunities with other PMFs and public servants.

BGE alumnae Madelyn Lockshine and Savannah Riddles, both graduates of the Biohazardous Threat Agents & Emerging Infectious Diseases master’s program, were also named as PMF finalists this year. The latest cohort of Hoyas joins the ranks of 825 finalists selected for the program out of more than 7,000 applications, according to the PMF website.

BGE asked Eleni about her academic journey and goals as she joins the PMF cohort.

BGE: What brought you to the Integrative Neuroscience master’s program? What are your academic/professional goals?

Eleni Daughters: As someone who studied philosophy, international policy, and neuroscience while interning for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of State, I became fascinated by the application of neuroscience within the field of national security. While my multidisciplinary background allowed me to tackle ethical and political considerations regarding this domain, I knew I needed a more in-depth understanding of molecular and cognitive neuroscience. This need – coupled with my love of neuroscience – brought me to Georgetown’s Integrative Neuroscience program. I knew that this program would complement my background and develop my comprehension of neurobiology, assessment techniques, and science policy.

Today, I hope to utilize my interdisciplinary knowledge to work in biodefense – specifically at the intersection of neuroscience and national security. I want to dedicate myself to understanding the ethical, political, and scientific implications of neuroscience as it enters military and intelligence operations across the globe.

BGE: How did you decide to apply to the Presidential Management Fellows Program?

ED: I heard about the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program through my international policy studies at the University of Michigan, but it was not until entering Georgetown that I decided I was ready to apply. I felt as though a master’s in neuroscience was the finishing touch I needed to hopefully stand out and become the public servant I have always wanted to be. The PMF program represents the future of U.S. public service and leadership – a future that I’d certainly like to be a part of. 

BGE: What does it mean to you to be named a PMF finalist? What do you hope to achieve through the program?

ED: To say I was shocked when I was named a PMF finalist would be an understatement. I know everyone who applied is a deeply talented and committed individual, so I feel incredibly grateful for the opportunity. I know I could not have accomplished this feat without the support of professors, family, and friends. I feel honored and excited to be chosen as someone who has the potential to be a future government leader and understand this opportunity necessitates integrity, hard work, and a passion for public service.  

Through the PMF program, I hope to find a federal agency in which I can collaborate with scientists, lawyers, intelligence analysts, military personnel, and policymakers to effectively analyze and employ neuroscientific data within an area of national security. Additionally, I look forward to developing my leadership abilities so that one day I can be the effective and ethical public servant I’ve always wanted to be.

Written by Natalie Rabner and Karen Teber

M.S. in Integrative Neuroscience