An Alumnus of Nuclear Importance
His career has taken him to Chernobyl and Yucca Mountain’s nuclear waste storage facility. One day, Jason Bohne might find himself helping to arrange tours for important government officials, and the next he may be fielding media questions about nuclear weapons.
Bohne, ’98, is the director of communications and public affairs for Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC, managing public relations and communications services for two National Nuclear Security Administration sites, the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas. Being a public relations professional for a government site originally built as part of the Manhattan Project, to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons, seems like a daunting task, but Bohne says he likes the challenges and the rewards.
“It’s neat to be surrounded by the history, but I’m really excited to be a part of the future,” he said. “We’re all about making sure our nuclear deterrent is effective for our nation and our allies. It’s a global security mission.”
Pantex and Y-12 are now tasked with protecting and maintaining the nation’s nuclear stockpile, as well as providing training for security and defense professionals and other national security missions.
“I get a real sense of satisfaction. The work we do is important,” he said. “At the end of the day, I feel like I make a difference.”
Since 1999, Bohne has worked for Bechtel, a contractor that is currently the lead company in Consolidated Nuclear Security and manages several other Department of Energy sites across the country. He has held several positions at Bechtel, including managing public relations for the sometimes-controversial Yucca Mountain Project and then for its entire government services division.
Managing a team of 80 marketing and communications professionals in two states might seem a huge leap from his time as a student at Idaho State University, but Bohne still remembers when he arrived at ISU and decided to enter the field of public relations.
A Las Vegas native, Bohne met his wife, Yvonne, who is from Pocatello, and the couple returned to Southeast Idaho. Unsatisfied with his then career path, Bohne decided to return to school. He met with faculty member Jack Mauch, and decided he had found his calling.
“I still remember the day. I sat down with him and he laid down for me what it was going to be like,” Bohne said. “It was a great fit for me.”
Bohne still returns to ISU at least a few times a year. He is currently the volunteer media director for the Simplot Games, a national indoor high school track event, where he first served as a PR intern 19 years ago. Through the Simplot Games, Bohne has been able to mentor today’s communications students through internships like the one he completed.
Finding opportunity is how Bohne sums up his experience at ISU. Bohne said he was surrounded by knowledgeable professors who cared, giving him the chance to find his career path.
“I came out prepared. I’ve found that to be true all along,” he said. “For me, it was about applying myself. ISU gave me the opportunity to create my own opportunities.”