This is an interview with Howard Bassen, Research Engineer in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, Division of Biomedical and Physical Sciences. Bassen recounts his childhood in Rochester and then suburban Washington DC. He describes his early interests in science and electronics, and discusses the impact of Sputnik on his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering at the University of Maryland. Bassen describes his post-college work at Harry Diamond Labs, where he designed radio frequency transmitters, and he explains how his opposition to the Vietnam War compelled him to move to the U.S. Postal Research Labs in Rockville, where he worked on surveillance and package security with X-ray systems. Bassen discusses his first encounter with the Bureau of Radiological Health and his first job in the Microwave Radiation Branch, where his main project was testing home microwave ovens for radiation levels. He describes his work measuring radiation and tissue implantable probes in the human body, and he explains his motivation for taking a job as branch chief of the Microwave Research Branch at Walter Reed, where he studied the effects of very high power microwaves emanating from missile-jamming technology. Bassen explains the absorption of the Bureau of Radiological Health by the FDA, and he describes his decision to return to work on electromagnetic compatibility and cell phone safety. He explains the importance of ensuring electromagnetic compatibility of medical devices so that, for example, an implanted pacemaker does not malfunction when exposed to a cell phone or an MRI machine. At the end of the interview Bassen reflects on his career and singles out his work in determining the safety of electromagnetic fields as the most impactful aspect of his career.