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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Environmental Change and Society
Board on Environmental Change and Society
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education

Board on Environmental Change and Society


Staff Listing 


Mary Ellen O'Connell, Acting Director, (202) 334-2607
Paul C. Stern, Senior Scholar, (202) 334-3005

Tina M. Latimer, Program Coordinator (202) 334-3218
Mary Ghitelman, Program Assistant (202) 334-1654


Mailing Address

Board on Environmental Change and Society

The Keck Center of the National Academies

500 Fifth Street, NW

Washington, DC 20001


Fax: 202-334-3751

Staff Biographies (alphabetical)  


Heather Breiner Heather Breiner, Associate Program Officer

Heather Breiner is an Associate Program Officer for the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. She started at the Academies in 2008, and her work has included studies and workshops on wide-ranging topics including public health, obesity prevention, evaluation considerations, dietary guidance, and improving the health, safety and well-being of young adults as well as children and families. Recently she has been working on weather and environmental topics. Prior to the Academies, Heather worked at a commercial real estate company where she researched and managed rooftop communication infrastructures. Heather received a B.S. in business management from Kutztown University in Pennsylvania and her M.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from George Mason University.
Staff Mary Ghitelman Mary Ghitelman, Program Assistant

Mary Ghitelman is Program Assistant for the Board on Environmental Change and Society and the Committee on Population in the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. She has been with the Academies since April of 2015. Previous to that, she worked on temporary assignments with the Academies as well as the National Academy of Education. She is a Maryland native who ended up in Wisconsin for her higher education— Mary received a B.A. in psychology from Beloit College.
Jenny Heimberg Jennifer A. Heimberg, Ph.D., Senior Program Officer

Jennifer A. Heimberg is a senior program officer within the Division of Earth and Life Sciences (DELS). She has been at the National Academies since 2011, working for the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board. Within the NRSB, she has focused on nuclear security, nuclear detection capabilities, and environmental management issues. Dr. Heimberg has directed studies and workshops related to nuclear proliferation, nuclear terrorism, and the management of nuclear wastes. Prior to the Academies, she worked as a program manager at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory for nearly 10 years. While at APL she established and grew its nuclear security program with the Department of Homeland Security’s Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO). She received a B.S. in physics from Georgetown University, a B.S.E.E. from Catholic University, and a Ph.D. in physics from Northwestern University.
TinaLatimer2 Tina M. Latimer, Program Coordinator

Tina M. Latimer is the Program Coordinator for the Board on Environmental Change and Society, Committee on Population, and Committee on Law and Justice. Tina joined the staff in the spring of 2014 after 19 years of experience working in law firms as an Office Manager and Executive Legal Secretary. She also worked as a staff assistant to the U.S. Congressional Subcommittee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Competitiveness. Through these experiences, she developed excellent skills in managing the overall administrative and logistical procedures in a busy environment. She is responsible for coordinating the reporting requirements, administrative functions and logistical support for CLAJ and the project committees. She supervises the Program Assistants for all projects, provides support to the Board Director and ensures the smooth implementation of DBASSE and NRC procedures. She plans to pursue a B.S. in Criminal Justice.
Staff Mary Ellen OConnell Mary Ellen O'Connell, Acting Director

Mary Ellen O’Connell is Deputy Executive Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) and the Acting Director of the Board on Environmental Change and Society. She was previously the Deputy Director of two DBASSE boards, the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences and the Board on Human-Systems Integration. She started in DBASSE in 2001 as a senior program officer and has directed or co-directed studies for multiple boards on a wide range of topics including an evaluation of disability and rehabilitation program outcomes, home health care, prevention of mental emotional, and behavioral disorders, reducing underage drinking, assessing and improving children’s health, ethical considerations for research, and an evaluation of international education programs. She has also planned workshops on topics including field evaluation in the intelligence context, benefit-cost methodology, student mobility, welfare reform, and children and gun violence. She came to the National Academies from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where she spent eight years in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, most recently as director of state and local initiatives. She previously served as Director of Field Services for the Department of Public Welfare in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Mary Ellen has a B.A. (with distinction) from Cornell University and a master in the management of human services from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
Staff Paul Stern  Paul C, Stern, Ph.D., Senior Scholar

Paul C. Stern is a senior scholar at the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, working primarily with the Board on Environmental Change and Society, formerly known as the Committee on Human Dimensions and Global Change. His work at the National Research Council has included directing studies on climate and global change, such as Informing Decisions in a Changing Climate (2009), Decision Making for the Environment: Social and Behavioral Science Priorities (2005), and Global Environmental Change: Understanding the Human Dimensions (1992), and he has been involved in the suite of America’s Climate Choices studies. His work has also included studies on international security issues that have produced reports such as International Conflict Resolution After the Cold War (2000) and a three-volume series on Behavior, Society, and International Conflict (1989–1993). His research interests include the determinants of environmentally significant behavior, particularly at the individual level; participatory processes for informing environmental decision making; processes for informing environmental decisions; and the governance of environmental resources and risks. He is coauthor of the textbook Environmental Problems and Human Behavior (2nd ed., 2002) and of the 2003 article “The Struggle to Govern the Commons,” which won the 2005 Sustainability Science Award from the Ecological Society of America. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Psychological Association. He holds a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Clark University, all in psychology.




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