Congressional Fellowship Program

Kevin Ashley (L) with John Hayden, SME Deputy Executive Director, in Washington, DC Sept 2015

In November of 2013, SME announced the first SME Mining Engineering Congressional Fellowship which began in Washington, D.C. during the 2014-15 legislative session. The Fellowship gives a seasoned mining expert the chance to apply their industry knowledge to positively affect change in the laws that govern the U.S. mining and minerals industry.

In February of 2015, SME announced Kevin Ashley, P.E., as the Society’s choice to represent mining in Washington, D.C. during the 2015-2016 Legislative Session.

Mr. Ashley is a Mining Engineer with 35 years of experience in the mining industry. He holds a B.S. in Mining Engineering, an M.S. in Mining Engineering (Geostatistics), and an MBA. He is also a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Nevada. He has worked on evaluation and development of more than 50 mining projects located in China, USA, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, Suriname, Papua New Guinea, Morocco, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, Thailand, Peru, India, Spain, Saudi Arabia, and Norway, involving commodities as diverse as coal, gold, aluminum (including bauxite and alumina), copper, lignite, silver, nickel, iron ore, uranium, oil shale, kaolin, potash, zinc, and diamonds.

Awareness of the ways in which science, engineering and technology affect a broad range of non-scientific issues, as well as sensitivity to political, economic and social factors were guides in choosing the recipient of the SME Fellowship. The assignment will provide a unique opportunity for Ashley to gain first-hand experience with the federal legislative process and make practical contributions to the effective and timely use of his knowledge of mining, mineral processing and mined product applications as they relate to the environment, natural resources and federal science policy.

The Fellowship application period for the 2016-2017 Legislative Session runs from Dec. 1-31, 2015. Applications must include the following materials:

  • A résumé, no longer than two pages, providing information about educational background, professional employment, community and professional activities, public policy and legislative experience, committee and advisory group appointments plus one additional page for professional publications and presentations.

  • A statement of approximately 1,000 words addressing the applicant’s interest in the Fellowship, career goals, contributions the applicant believes he or she can make as a Fellow to the legislative process and what the applicant wants to learn from the experience.

  • Three signed letters of reference specifically addressing the applicant’s experience and how it would relate to his or her ability to work on Capitol Hill as a special legislative assistant.

A prospective Fellow must have a demonstrated record of success in research or scholarship in mining engineering, mineral processing, extractive metallurgy, economic geology or geological engineering. The Fellow must also demonstrate sensitivity toward policy issues and have a strong interest in applying scientific and technical knowledge to U.S. public policy issues. An applicant is expected to be a member of SME and have either a doctorate in the above referenced fields or a Masters degree in engineering with at least three years of professional experience. Compensation:

  • Stipend - $72,000

  • Relocation - $3,000

  • Health insurance - $5,000