The Science & Technology Policy Fellowships operate within the AAAS Center of Science, Policy & Society Programs (CoSPSP). The Fellowships staff consists of a team of professionals operating in four function areas. Additional part-time advisory input is provided by two senior CoSPSP staff members. All staff and advisors participate to support AAAS Fellows across partner federal agencies and congressional host offices, and contribute to the effective and efficient operation and administration of the AAAS Fellowships. The staff positions and responsibilities are listed below by function areas.
Management & Administration
Kristina Lawrence – Administration & Operations Associate
Cynthia Robinson – Director
Programs & Professional Development
Kristin Barnes - Program Manager, Diplomacy, Security & Development (DSD) Fellowships
Kristyn Fusco – Senior Project Coordinator
Eddie Gonzalez - Project Director, Professional Development and Congressional Fellowships
Robert Harper - Program Manager, Health, Education & Human Services (HEHS) Fellowships
Chitra Kalyandurg – Program Manager, Diplomacy, Security & Development (DSD) Fellowships
Rick Kempinski – Project Director, Executive Branch Fellowships
Tamisha Marsh - Program Associate
Kira E. Mock – Program Manager, Energy, Environment & Agriculture (EEA) Fellowships
Sage Russell – Associate Director
Emily Schulte – Senior Project Coordinator
Finance & Security
Cody Bridges - Senior Project Administrator
Chris McPhaul - Project Director/Facility Security Officer
Nav Sandhu - Financial Analyst II
Outreach, Engagement & Communication Systems
Stephanie Byng - Online and Network Technology Manager
Olga Francois – Senior Project Director
Salaeha Shariff – Project Director, Outreach, Recruitment and Alumni Engagement
Kat Song – Project Director, Communications and Digital Strategy
Barry Williams – Marketing Associate
Ed Derrick, PhD - Chief Program Director, Center of Science, Policy & Society Programs
Administration & Operations Associate, Science & Technology Policy Fellowships
Kristina Lawrence provides broad administrative and management operations coordination for the Science & Technology Policy Fellowships department. She manages efficient systems, oversees annual schedules, plans and organizes special projects and events, provides finance support, and serves as liaison to the Fellowships Advisory Committee, other AAAS departments, and external stakeholders.
Kristina arrived at AAAS in November 2012, with five years of experience in marketing, building partnerships, administration and operations, and alumni relations. She has worked in the corporate sector on consumer brand awareness with an emphasis on event management, and with a national mental health medical practice conducting clinical evaluations, along with coordination of administration, patient education, and provider outreach. Kristina is an alumna of the University of Virginia, and serves as vice president of the UVA Club of Washington, DC. She holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's degree in microbiology and infectious disease.
Director, Science & Technology Policy Fellowships
Cynthia Robinson directs the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships, administering programs and activities for more than 250 Congressional and Executive Branch Fellows annually, with the aim to foster evidence-based federal policy. This is accomplished by engaging scientists and engineers from a broad range of disciplines, backgrounds and career stages to directly contribute knowledge and analytical skills to support well-informed federal policies, regulations and programs; to learn first-hand about policymaking and implementation in the federal government; and to build their leadership capacity for a strong S&T enterprise that benefits society. With a team of 20 full-time staff and an annual budget of more than $16 million, Cynthia oversees strategic planning and policy; program development and evaluation; professional education activities; and communications, marketing, and stakeholder relations.
Prior to joining AAAS in 2004, Cynthia worked for seven years directing fellowships for scientists and engineers focusing on the environment and conservation, with the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation, and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program. She has more than 20 years of experience in program management, communications, and non-profit administration. Her early career was in public relations and marketing in the fields of community development, financial services, and healthcare. She also has worked in the education for sustainability realm, and spent three years in international development with the Peace Corps in Thailand and The Gambia, focusing on environmental education and youth enrichment programs.
Cynthia holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University, and a master's degree in urban and environmental policy from Tufts University, with a concentration in international environmental policy and sustainable development. She is a recipient of a UNEP Fellowship in International Environmental Management, and a Switzer Foundation Environmental Fellowship. Cynthia has held numerous volunteer leadership positions. She was a trustee of the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation from 1999 to 2007, including three years as board chair; and from 1994 to 2005 she served in various governance positions with the Sea Education Association, including six years as a trustee. Currently she is on the Green Plan Steering Committee for the town of Cheverly, MD, serving as chair of the Education & Outreach Working Group. Cynthia is a member of the Association of Women in Science, and the International Leadership Association.
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Program Manager, Diplomacy, Security & Development (DSD) Fellowships
Kristin Barnes manages partnerships with host agencies and offices facilitating day-to-day coordination of fellows; conducts the selection and placement processes; monitors and assesses fellowship activities; and serves as a liaison and guide to fellows and their mentors and supervisors. Kristin also contributes to planning and conducting orientation sessions, and she participates in outreach and recruitment efforts and represents the S&T Policy Fellowships at government meetings, professional conferences and at academic institutions across the country.
Kristin holds a bachelor's degree in elementary education from Northern Kentucky University, and a master's degree in social work from the University of Kentucky. She joined the S&T Policy Fellowships staff in February 2013, with 10 years of experience in nonprofit management, secondary education, higher education and volunteer management. For more than five years Kristin directed non-profit programs, most recently serving as program manager for T.E.A.C.H., a national scholarship program administered at the National Black Child Development Institute in Washington, DC. She also directed an AmeriCorps State program at the Cincinnati Youth Collaborative for three years, has served as a school social worker in Baltimore City Schools, a college access advisor, and an elementary school teacher.
Senior Project Coordinator
Kristyn Fusco provides administrative support to the Congressional Fellowships and plans and implements professional development activities for the S&T Policy Fellowships as a whole. She is responsible for coordinating Affinity Group events and activities, including managing logistics, producing event briefings and agendas, and staffing sessions as needed. She also administers evaluation instruments to determine trends and enhance the experience for fellows and host offices.
Kristyn received a bachelor's degree in psychology and marketing from American University. Prior to joining the Fellowships staff in February 2014, Kristyn worked on mentoring, professional development events and activities, and online member programs at the Society for Neuroscience.
Project Director, Professional Development and Congressional Fellowships
Eddie Gonzalez manages two areas of the fellowship program: congressional fellowships and professional development. For congressional fellows, Eddie manages the day-to-day coordination of their fellowships; conducts their selection and placement processes; monitors and assesses fellowship activities; and serves as liaison and guide to Fellows, and their mentors and supervisors. Eddie also directs professional development (PD). This includes managing the fellows’ orientation; monthly PD workshops that focus on leadership, policy, and communication skills; and programming support to self-organized, fellows’ affinity groups. He also serves as an advisor to program’s mentoring efforts.
Eddie brings more than 18 years of experience managing programs for a broad range of nonprofit organizations, including the World Wildlife Fund, the National Park Foundation, National Audubon Society, and the Khaled bin Sultan Living Oceans Foundation. His positions have involved managing education programs, developing curricula and programming, leading fellowships and mentoring programs and alumni networks, strategic planning, fundraising, event management and outreach. He previously worked at AAAS as an education specialist nearly 20 years ago! Eddie holds a master's degree in nonprofit management from Regis University, and a bachelor's in geology and biology from Brown University.
Program Manager, Health, Education & Human Services (HEHS) Fellowships
Robert Harper manages partnerships with host agencies and offices facilitating day-to-day coordination of Fellows; conducts the selection and placement processes; monitors and assesses fellowship activities; and serves as liaisons and guides to Fellows and their mentors and supervisors. Robert also contributes to planning and conducting orientation sessions, and he participates in outreach and recruitment efforts and represents the S&T Policy Fellowships at government meetings, professional conferences and at academic institutions across the country.
Robert completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Central Florida in Foreign Languages and undertook course work toward an M.Ed in Higher Education Leadership at the University of West Florida. He began his career in professional development and international higher education by teaching English and training ESL instructors in Kurume, Japan. After relocating to Washington, DC, Robert worked as a member of Georgetown University's MBA Admissions and Student Services team. For three years he worked for the Institute of International Education as a program officer for the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology Scholarship Program. In this capacity, he recruited and mentored graduate students and doctoral candidates.
Prior to joining the AAAS Fellowships team in September 2012, Robert held the position of senior business processes manager for the Fulbright Scholar Program, which is managed by the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES). He worked closely with State Department's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs to facilitate the program's goals of internationalizing university campuses and promoting international academic exchange.
Program Manager, Diplomacy, Security & Development (DSD) Fellowships
Chitra Kalyandurg manages partnerships with host agencies and offices facilitating day-to-day coordination of Fellows; conducts the selection and placement processes; monitors and assesses fellowship activities; and serves as liaisons and guides to Fellows and their mentors and supervisors. Chitra also contributes to planning and conducting orientation sessions, and she participates in outreach and recruitment efforts and represents the S&T Policy Fellowships at government meetings, professional conferences and at academic institutions across the country.
She holds a bachelor's degree in communications studies from New York University. Chitra joined the Fellowships staff in November 2010, with more than six years of non-profit communications, marketing, outreach and grant writing experience. Her previous positions included working in K-12 engineering outreach at the American Society for Engineering Education, and managing education programs at Arena Stage. She also worked as a free-lance marketing and fundraising consultant at a performing arts organization. Chitra is a teaching artist in the fields of dance, theater and creative movement, and choreographs and performs in the south Indian dance style of Kuchipudi.
Project Director, Executive Branch Fellowships
As project director on the program team, Rick Kempinski plans and directs Executive branch fellow and host office communications, and outreach, and supervises the four program managers for the Executive branch fellowships. Rick oversees partnerships with host agencies and offices and day-to-day coordination of Fellows. He helps to direct the selection and placement processes; monitors and assesses fellowship activities; and works towards improving all aspects of the Fellow’s time in the program. Rick also contributes to planning and conducting orientation sessions, and he participates in outreach and recruitment efforts and represents the S&T Policy Fellowships at government meetings, professional conferences and at academic institutions across the country.
Rick received a bachelor's degree in international business and human resources from American University. He joined the Fellowships team in 2008, with more than eight years of experience, including four years as senior project manager at the American Society for Engineering Education, where he directed federally funded fellowship programs including the NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program, the Naval Research Laboratory Postdoctoral Fellowships, and the Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowships. Rick also has experience in marketing and communications in the private sector.
Tamisha Marsh provides administrative support to the annual operations of the Executive Branch Fellowships, focusing primarily on the EEA and HEHS Fellowship programs. Tamisha coordinates logistics for the selection and placement processes and program events, manage Fellow and stakeholder data, and draft and edit program materials and summary documents for reporting to funders. She also contributes to planning and conducting evaluations, and participates in outreach and recruitment efforts.
Tamisha joined AAAS in October 2012, having most recently coordinated a federal internship program at the National Association for the Equal Opportunity of Higher Education (NAFEO). She also conducted research concerning internationalization in Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) and Predominately Black Institution (PBI) campuses. At NAFEO, she conducted the selection process for the American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS)/NAFEO undergraduate study abroad scholarship. In addition, Tamisha has several years of non-profit experience at the U.S. Global Leadership Campaign (USGLC) and InterAction, which promote U.S. diplomacy and international development.
Tamisha holds a bachelor's degree in political science from San Jose State University, where she did research on terrorist cells in eastern Africa. Tamisha also holds a master's degree in public policy from Pepperdine University, where she wrote her master's thesis on U.S. policy towards Cuba.
Kira E. Mock
Program Manager, Energy, Environment & Agriculture (EEA) Fellowships
Kira manages the Energy, Environment and Agriculture Fellowships program. She works closely with host agencies and offices facilitating partnership operations and contracts, overseeing the selection and placement of EEA Fellows, monitoring and assessing fellowship activities, and serving as liaison and guide to Fellows and their mentors and supervisors. Kira also serves on the team to plan and conduct orientation, and participates in outreach and recruitment efforts.
Kira holds a BBA in International Business Finance from the George Washington University, as well as a Masters from St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD, in Liberal Arts. She as completed graduate coursework at University of Maryland in plant sciences and in 2012 completed a Master’s degree in environmental management. Kira joined the fellowships staff with 14 years of experience with international development and innovative applied scientific research programs. She has published in AAAS’ Science & Diplomacy publication. Prior to coming to AAAS, she was a Program Officer for the Research Support Program for USAID within the Policy and Global Affairs Division at the National Academies. There she managed the review process for USAID’s Israeli research programs. She has traveled extensively, and is fluent in German from having lived in Hamburg, Germany as an exchange student.
Associate Director, Fellowship Programs
Sage Russell is associate director of the S&T Policy Fellowships, and directs the program and professional development staff. In this capacity, she oversees outreach to and partnerships with federal agencies, congressional offices, and partner sponsoring societies. She directs the selection and placement processes for the six fellowships areas, with annual cohorts of 275 Fellows, and supervises day-to-day programmatic operations. Sage counsels Fellows, supervisors and mentors, and oversees fellowship monitoring, quality assessment and implementation of enhancements. She reviews proposals, actively participates in recruitment and outreach activities, and oversees the yearlong professional development program. Sage supervises the program and professional development staff of nine and assists the director with strategic planning, developing and launching new initiatives, and formulating program policy.
Prior to joining the Fellowships staff in 2003, Sage spent six years as a senior program associate in the AAAS Science and Human Rights Program, where she edited and contributed to several books on economic, social and cultural human rights. Before joining AAAS she served as government grants manager at PLAN International, an international development NGO, and as associate director of Alumni Relations at Middlebury College. Sage spent two years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo. She received her undergraduate degree from Middlebury College, a master's degree in adult education from the University of Rhode Island, and a JD from Emory University School of Law.
Senior Project Coordinator
Emily provides administrative and logistical support for the Congressional, Judicial, and Executive Branch Fellowships, focusing primarily on DSD and the Judicial Branch. She helps coordinate logistics for selection and placement processes and contributes to monitoring and evaluation. Emily also participates in outreach and recruitment efforts.
Emily holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a concentration in International Communications from American University. She later earned a master’s in science from the University of Glasgow in Human Rights & International Politics. Prior to joining AAAS, she worked in affordable housing and completed internships with Earth Day Network and the Institute for International Education.
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Senior Project Administrator
Cody directs finance and security operations for the S&T Policy Fellowships. This includes managing fellowships finance systems, developing and monitoring budgets, overseeing fellowship accounts and reimbursements, crafting proposals, managing grants, and reporting. Cody leads our relations with federal contract officers and ensures compliance with government funding regulations.
She is a seasoned project manager with experience in budget development, resource allocation, workforce planning, evaluation, and quality assurance. Cody brings more than 16 years of experience with federal contractors, including projects with a number of our current host agencies. She also has experience in conference and event management. Cody received her bachelor's degree in psychology from George Mason University, where she is currently pursuing a master's degree in public administration.
Project Director/Facility Security Officer
Chris McPhaul is the project director for the Finance & Security team for the AAAS S&T Policy Fellowships. Chris directs and implements security-related activities including processing clearances, providing training, conducting reviews, and ensuring compliance. In addition, he provides support in preparing and reviewing funding requests for host agencies and offices, as well as, managing payments and reimbursements for Fellows.
Chris holds a bachelor's degree in geography and political science from Auburn University, and a master's degree in education from George Mason University. Chris has worked at AAAS for more than 20 years in a wide variety of roles. As an associate director and a project director, Chris has managed programs, professional development, and finance.
Financial Analyst II
Nav is responsible for fellowship accounts and reimbursements, vendor reimbursements, and overall day to day accounting and finance operations. Nav holds a bachelor of commerce degree from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University and is currently pursuing her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation. Prior to joining the Fellowships staff in October 2013, Nav worked in wealth management for a top 5 bank in Canada. She has previous experience in budgeting, forecasting, expense reporting and day to day accounting functions. In her spare time she loves to travel and is an avid soccer and ice hockey fan.
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Online and Network Technology Manager
Stephanie Byng is responsible for providing professional technical and administrative support for the management of the S&T Policy Fellowships online presence, databases and network systems. She ensures our database and online network functionality by researching, developing, implementing and evaluating site upgrades. Stephanie troubleshoots technical issues and maintains documentation for our online systems. She also lends a creative hand to our marketing, outreach and engagement efforts by designing collateral, writing online content and implementing marketing campaigns.
Stephanie joined AAAS in December 2012 as an intern, fresh from a 12-month term of service with AmeriCorps VISTA, where she was the IT Administrator for The Advancement Foundation. She worked with multiple nonprofit clients building custom websites/graphics, managing social media profiles, developing documentation and training materials, overseeing donor database integration into Salesforce, and evaluating new technology for integration. She has seven years of experience as a web/graphics designer, specializing in the needs of non-profits and women-owned businesses. Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northern Arizona University. In 2009, she wrote and published An Eco-Babe’s Guide to Greening It. In her spare time, she volunteers with Catchafire and writes about green living.
Senior Project Director, Marketing, Communications, Alumni & Technology Systems
Olga Francois plans and directs communications activities to promote the S&T Policy Fellowships nationally; oversees the recruitment and marketing efforts to attract eligible applications from diverse, highly qualified scientists and engineers; and supervises development and implementation of the year-long professional development program. Additionally, Olga supervises cross-cohort and alumni engagement activities to maintain former Fellows participation in Fellowship operations and initiatives. Olga oversees four staff and assists the director with strategic planning, developing and launching new initiatives, and formulating policy for communications, marketing and recruitment.
She joined AAAS in July 2011, following ten years at the Center for Intellectual Property at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC), the last six of those serving as associate director. There she conceptualized and implemented membership programs and professional development courses, and managed marketing and outreach activities. Olga also is an adjunct professor in the UMUC School of Undergraduate Studies and the Graduate School. She holds a master's degree in library information science from the University of Pittsburg, and has ten years of experience as a research librarian in academic institutions in Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, and Washington state. Olga's undergraduate degree is in fine arts from Smith College; she continues her art from her Maryland studio, specializing in print making and painting.
Project Director, Outreach, Recruitment and Alumni Relations
Salaeha Shariff directs recruitment cultivation, national outreach activities, and diversity enhancement for the S&T Policy Fellowships. She plans and manages annual marketing efforts, oversees advertising, and engages Fellows in initiatives to promote careers at the intersection of science and policy.
She joined AAAS in September 2011, following over five years with the American Academy of Pediatrics, Illinois Chapter, where she directed and managed public health grants focusing primarily on immunization education and policy for Illinois pediatricians. Salaeha's responsibilities included overseeing development of educational programming for healthcare providers, recruitment and engagement of Illinois pediatricians and allied healthcare providers on varied educational and policy initiatives, managing committees/interest groups related to school health and infectious diseases, and policy work related to financing/reimbursement for pediatric practices and public health engagement.
She has prior experience directing and managing operations for a small nonprofit educational organization. Salaeha holds a master's degree in public service from DePaul University and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Loyola University Chicago.
Project Director, Communications and Digital Strategy
Kat Song helps the S&T Policy Fellowships program ensure that science informs public policy by communicating with its constituencies, providing strategic direction to its digital platforms, and supporting its brand. She also assists the director with communications strategy, serves as editor of Fellows’ Monthly and Fellowship Focus, and is the voice behind the program’s social media presence.
With more than 20 years in the business, Kat is a veteran communicator with background in multiple industries and issues, deep expertise in health care policy, and years of PR agency service. Above all, she has an abiding interest in all things evidence-based.
After graduating from Georgetown University with a bachelor’s degree in government and a master's degree in public policy, she has become an ardent and loyal resident of the nation’s capital. She is elected to the advisory body of a local DCPS school and has served on the board of directors of numerous nonprofit organizations serving Washington DC.
Barry Williams is responsible for coordinating administration, process and event logistics for communications, recruitment, professional development, and alumni outreach. He responds to inquiries, monitors media coverage, inputs marketing data and maintains records and archives.
Barry received a bachelor's degree in international political economy from Fordham University and a master's in business administration from American University's Kogod School of Business. Prior to joining the Fellowships staff in September 2011, Barry was a staff member of the Investigative Reporting Workshop providing operations support, and he worked with the Center for the Study of Responsive Law as an office manager.
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Edward G. Derrick, PhD
Chief Program Director, Center of Science, Policy & Society Programs
Edward Derrick became director of the AAAS Center of Science, Policy & Society Programs in July 2011 after serving as acting director for seven months. The Center for Science, Policy & Society Programs bridges the science and engineering community on one side, and policymakers and the interested public on the other. The programs address an array of topics in science and society, including the interplay of science with religion, law and human rights; they also connect scientists and policymakers through programs in science and government, including the S&T Policy Fellowship program. As acting director, Dr. Derrick oversees the programs, which combined have a staff of about 40 and an annual budget of over $20 million, and serves as a member of senior management at AAAS.
Ed first joined AAAS in 1998 as a member of the AAAS Research Competitiveness Program (RCP). RCP provides review and guidance to the science and innovation community. He became director of the program in January 2004, with responsibility for the development of new business and oversight of all aspects of the design and execution of projects. Ed has participated directly in over 50 RCP projects, having led committees to assist state and institutional planning for research, to review research centers and institutions and to advise state and international funds on major investments.
He holds the Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, with a dissertation in theoretical particle physics, and the B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with an undergraduate thesis in biophysics. Prior to joining AAAS, he spent two years as an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow in Germany. He has worked for Ontario Hydro in the Nuclear Studies and Safety Division, and consulted for the National Research Council.
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