The Symposium is organized by members of the following AAAS STPF Affinity Groups: Energy and Climate, AgriNuts, Biofuels, and Water. Members of the Department of Energy Science and Technology Fellowship Program also provide invaluable support for the Symposium.

Long Lam (co-chair)

Long is serving as a Fellow in the Energy Office of the Department of Defense. He recently worked in Senator Jeff Merkley's Office, supporting legislative efforts to maintain America’s lead in advanced energy technologies in the electricity and transportation sectors. Previously, Long conducted research on China’s renewable energy industry and energy policy for his PhD in Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University.

Joseph Rustick (co-chair)

Joe is an AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at the US Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation working on long-term radioactive waste management following a radiological disaster and building confidence in radioactive waste disposal. His policy interests include nuclear energy and nuclear waste, and solving challenges with both through stakeholder engagement. He received a B.S. in Environmental Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Vanderbilt University.

Daniel Becerra

Daniel is a IEEE-USA Congressional Fellow in the office of Senator Jeffrey A. Merkley of Oregon. He earned a PhD in Materials from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he specialized in energy efficient materials for lighting. In the Senate he works on clean energy, clean transportation, and energy efficiency legislation.

Colin Cunliff

Colin Cunliff is a senior policy analyst at ITIF, where he focuses on policies to accelerate clean energy innovation and mitigate carbon emissions. He previously worked at the DOE Office of Energy Policy and Systems Analysis (EPSA), where he worked on the Quadrennial Energy Review. He holds a Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Davis..

Blaize Denfeld

Blaize is an AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at NASA HQ in the Earth Science Division. Blaize is an earth system scientist with expertise in freshwater ecosystems and carbon cycling. She received her B.A. and M.A. from Clark University and Ph.D. from Uppsala University (Sweden). Blaize also has a passion for understanding and facilitating scientific collaborations.

Eilliot Eichen

Elliot is an IEEE-USA/AAAS Congressional Fellow. He received a PhD in optics from The University of Arizona, a BS in physics from SUNY Stony Brook, and an eMBA from Boston University. Formerly he was Director, Research and Development, for Verizon Communications and simultaneously Visiting Industry Professor, Tufts University (Electrical Engineering) or Adjunct Graduate Faculty, Northeastern University (Electrical Engineering).

Kelly Gravuer

Kelly is trained as a soil and plant ecologist, focusing on sustainable management of working lands. As an Executive Branch Fellow at the EPA Office of Water, her research contributes to efforts to balance economic, social, and environmental considerations in decisions about water treatment technologies.

Salah Issa

Salah is an AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at US Department of Agricultural, National Institute for Food and Agriculture(NIFA). His work includes analyzing NIFA's research portfolio for artificial intelligence, agricultural security, and labor and safety challenges. He is interested in understanding role that policy plays on agricultural and research communities. He received a BS in Biochemical Engineering from Rutgers University and a MSE and Ph.D. from Purdue University in Agricultural Engineering.

Loren LaPointe

Loren is an AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at US Department of Agricultural, Foreign Agricultural Service working on international trade policy of agricultural plant commodities including plant health, pesticide regulatory policy, and covering trade with South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan. Her policy interests include science communication, science diplomacy, and using evidence and science to support agricultural trade policy. She received a BS in Biochemistry and a BA in Spanish from Western Michigan University and a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Emma Moran

Emma is an AAAS S&T Policy Fellow at US Department of Agricultural, National Institute for Food and Agriculture. Her works includes understanding existing biases for women in agriculture and sustainable agricultural systems. She is interested in policy questions related to biological or environmental issues. She received a BS in Biology from University of North Carolina and a Ph.D. in Biology from Washington University - St. Louis.

Abigail Regitsky

Abigail is a AAAS Congressional Science Fellow sponsored by the American Physical Society (APS). She works in the Office of Senator Tina Smith on energy and environment policy, where she has helped to craft legislation on a national clean energy standard. Abigail received her Ph.D. in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at MIT, where she used hydrogels to mimic Nature’s ability to make strong, tough biominerals in hopes of advancing the sustainable production of industrially-relevant materials.

Maddy Salzman

Maddy is a Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the U.S. Department of Energy's Building Technologies Office, where she has focused on making residential buildings more energy efficient . In her role, Maddy supports home energy labeling and workforce development programs to reduce costs of and increase financing for deep energy retrofits. She received her BA in environmental ecology with a minor in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and received her Master of Public Service with a focus on energy policy from the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.

Mike Specian

Mike is a AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow hosted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building Technologies Office (BTO), where his work focuses on making buildings more energy efficient, resilient, and flexible to an evolving electrical grid. Prior to joining BTO he was a Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC; a scientific consultant for the U.S. Global Change Research Program; and a researcher for Baltimore City in the area of disaster preparedness.

Elizabeth Zeitler

National Academies Board (Reporter)

Beth is a Senior Program Officer at National Academies Board on Energy and Environmental Systems. She is a globally-experienced energy and transportation analyst, providing science-informed, actionable advice to private and public sector decision makers. As a Senior Program Officer of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, she leads studies on key areas of domestic and global energy policy for the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems.

Michele Bustamante

Michele joined the AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship program as a Congressional fellow sponsored by the Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society and the Materials Research Society (TMS/MRS). Michele is spending her fellowship year in the office of Senator Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts working on climate, energy and environmental policy and organizing the Senate Climate Change Taskforce. Prior to her fellowship, Michele was a postdoctoral associate in the Materials Systems Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Michele has a Ph.D. in Sustainability from the Golisano Institute for Sustainability at Rochester Institute of Technology and a Environmental Engineering and Materials Engineering.

Cleo Chou

Cleo is a AAAS Policy Fellow in the Office of Global Climate Change at USAID. She provides technical expertise for the design of Sustainable Landscapes programs, which work with developing countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, forestry, and other land use while strengthening livelihoods, climate resilience, biodiversity provisioning, and other ecosystem services. Cleo completed a PhD and postdoc at Princeton, where she studied the tropical forest carbon sink using field-based and mathematical modeling approaches.

Ryan Edwards

Ryan is a AAAS Congressional Science and Engineering Fellow. He works on energy and climate policy with a focus on carbon capture, utilization, and storage. Prior to his congressional fellowship, Ryan completed a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University. His research included subsurface fluid flow modeling of hydraulic fracturing and geological carbon storage, and economic modeling of carbon capture deployment.

Nelson James

Nelson is an ORISE Fellow in the U.S. Department of Energy's Building Technologies Office's Emerging Technologies Program. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Purdue University where he studied novel heat pumping cycles utilizing electrochemical reactions. He has worked on numerous projects with Purdue's Center for High Performance Buildings and Oak Ridge National Laboratory focusing on the development and analysis of more efficient thermal systems.

Michael Reiner

Michael is an ORISE fellow at the US Department of Energy's Weatherization and Intergovernmental Programs (WIP) office where his work addresses home repair needs and expands energy efficiency opportunities. Michael earned an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Environment and Sustainability from the University of Michigan with a focus on the adoption of residential energy efficient technologies as well as lifecycle impacts of electrified mobility.

Rukmani Vijayaraghavan

Rukmani earned her Ph.D. in Astronomy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and was an NSF Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Virginia. Her academic research has focused on using supercomputer simulations along with astronomical observations to understand the origin of massive clusters of galaxies. She has been involved in educational and outreach efforts focused on improving opportunities for girls and women in science. As a AAAS/AIP Congressional Fellow, she works in the office of Rep. Derek Kilmer on various policy issues including STEM education, energy and climate policy, and science and technology.