Major Fellowship Activities: Ortmeyer investigated the War Powers Act and how regional organizations are authorized to do peacekeeping. She also worked with the Military Spending Working Group, part of an aggregation of arms control organizations, helping to prepare a section on the military budget for their annual briefing book on arms control. She wrote fact sheets on the U.S. military budget and the U.N. She also conducted research for the “Briefing Book on Peacekeeping: The U.S. Role in United Nations Peace Operations.”
Current Activities: Ortmeyer is Director of Development and Communications for the American Land Conservancy. She oversees all fundraising and development efforts for ALC, which is a land trust working nationwide to conserve wildlife habitat, open space, and working farms and ranches. She also assists with program development and strategic planning, and oversees all communications, including press releases, website, and newsletters. She was previously the Director of Grants Administration with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
Following her fellowship she was Field Director for Nuclear Issues with Women’s Action for New Directions, working especially on plutonium disposition issues and coordinating activist efforts to stop the Department of Energy’s MOX (mixed oxide fuel) program from moving forward. She edied the Nix MOX Bulletin Board and contributed regularly to the WAND Bulletin. She also ghost-wrote several letters-to-the-editor for legislators and other activists. In 2000 she was a delegate with the American Delegation on Plutonium Fuel, which traveled to various communities in Russia to assist in conducting People’s Hearings on the use of MOX fuel. The delegation was sponsored by the Center for Safe Energy. Prior to that she was Outreach Coordinator at the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, and Managing Editor of IEER’s Science for Democratic Action. She co-wrote “Worse Than We Knew” (aka Let Them Drink Milk) which appeared in the November/December 1997 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Subsequent to her Fellowship, Ortmeyer was hired by the Council for a Livable World Education Fund as a research analyst with the Project on Peacekeeping and the United Nations, and also worked with CLW’s “Target 2000” project, a public education effort to increase understanding about military spending, the federal budget, and domestic priorities.
The experiences and contacts I gained through the program are what allowed me to begin a career in arms control and disarmament. Prior to the fellowship I had wanted to pursue such work, but the Northwest offered few, if any, paying jobs in security studies. For years I was told my interests in this field were “unrealistic” but due to this fellowship I was able to make my preferred career choice a reality.