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National Academy of Sciences
National Academy of Engineering
Institute of Medicine
National Research Council
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Biographical Sketches

Executive Office Staff

Robert M. Hauser is Executive Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at the National Research Council and Vilas Research Professor and Samuel Stouffer Professor of Sociology, Emeritus, at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. While at the UW-Madison, he directed the Center for Demography of Health and Aging, the Institute for Research on Poverty, and the Center for Demography and Ecology. He has been an investigator on the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS) since 1969 and has led the study since 1980. The WLS, which began as a study of post-secondary education, has followed the lives of more than 10,000 Wisconsin High School graduates of 1957 for more than half a century and is now a national resource for research on health and retirement. With David L. Featherman, Hauser led the 1973 Occupational Changes in a Generation project – which successfully carried out the last major survey of intergenerational social mobility in the United States and yielded two books (Hauser, Robert M., and David L. Featherman. The Process of Stratification: Trends and Analyses. New York: Academic Press, 1977; Featherman, David L., and Robert M. Hauser. Opportunity and Change. New York: Academic Press, 1978), dozens of journal publications, and a much-used public data file. Another major project (with Halliman H. Winsborough and Karl Taeuber) created public use micro-data files from the 1940 and 1950 Censuses. A third project (with Robert D. Mare) supported collection of socioeconomic data from a sample of siblings of participants in the NORC General Social Survey. A fourth project created uniform public use files from the October school enrollment supplements of the Current Population Survey. Hauser’s current research interests include statistical methodology, trends in educational progression and achievement among American racial and ethnic groups, the uses of educational assessment as a policy tool, and changes in socioeconomic standing, cognition, health, and well-being across the life course. Recent publications include reports of the National Research Council, Measuring Literacy: Performance Levels for Adults; Conducting Biosocial Surveys: Collecting, Storing, Accessing, and Protecting Biospecimens and Biodata; High School Dropout, Graduation, and Completion Rates: Better Data, Better Measures, Better Decisions, and A Plan for Evaluating the District of Columbia’s Public Schools: From Impressions to Evidence and journal publications about grade retention, educational expectations, social mobility, obesity, cognitive functioning, end-of-life planning, mortality, and genetic effects (and non-effects) on health and cognitive functioning. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Education, and the American Philosophical Society.

Mary Ellen O’Connell is Deputy Executive Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) and the Interim 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.

Ann G. Polvinale is Director of Finance and Administration for the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at the National Research Council. In this capacity she oversees the Division’s budget, proposal, administrative, and other Executive Office procedures. She also serves as the Administrative Officer for all human resource issues. Ann has provided Executive Office guidance through multiple Executive Directors.

Patricia L. Morison is Associate Executive Director of the DBASSE Office of Reports and Communication. Prior to that, she held several positions within DBASSE including Senior Program Officer, Director of the Board on International Comparative Studies in Education, DBASSE Associate Executive Director and Director for the Center for Education. She has held positions at the Office of Technology Assessment for the United States Congress, within the department of psychology at the University of Minnesota, and as a research assistant at Harvard Graduate School of Education. Patricia received a B.S in psychology from Denison University, an Ed.M. in human development from Harvard, and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Minnesota.

Program Unit Staff

Kimber Bogard is the Director of the Board on Children, Youth and Families at the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. In this role, she directs a range of activities that address emerging and critical issues in the lives of children, youth, and families. She was previously the Associate Director of the Institute of Human Development and Social Change at New York University where she managed a portfolio of grants and contracts that examined child development within a changing global context. A developmental psychologist by training, Kimber has worked with numerous organizations that support children’s cognitive, affective, and behavioral development in early childhood education through the high school years, including the Foundation for Child Development, WK Kellogg Foundation, the Center for Children’s Initiatives, and Partners for a Bright and Healthy Haiti. Kimber often speaks to various audiences about child development in the context of families and schools, with a keen focus on how policies influence developmental, educational, and health trajectories. In 2006, she received her Ph.D. from Fordham University in applied developmental psychology, and she also holds a master’s degree from Columbia University-Teachers College where she studied risk and prevention strategies in adolescents.

Constance F. Citro is Director of the Committee on National Statistics, a standing unit at the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council. She was previously senior study director with CNSTAT from 1984–2004. Prior to joining CNSTAT, she held positions as vice president of Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., and Data Use and Access Laboratories, Inc. She was an American Statistical Association/National Science Foundation/Census research fellow in 1985-1986 and is a fellow of the American Statistical Association and an elected member of the International Statistical Institute. She received her B.A. in political science from the University of Rochester, and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in political science from Yale University. For CNSTAT, Dr. Citro directed evaluations of the 2000 census, the Survey of Income and Program Participation, microsimulation models for social welfare programs, and the NSF science and engineering personnel data system, in addition to studies on institutional review boards and social science research, estimates of poverty for small geographic areas, data and methods for retirement income modeling, and a new approach for measuring poverty. She co-edited the 2nd – 4th editions of Principles and Practices for a Federal Statistical Agency, and contributed to studies on measuring racial discrimination, expanding access to research data, the usability of estimates from the American Community Survey, the National Children’s Study research plan, and the Census Bureau’s 2010 census program of experiments and evaluations.

Jay B. Labov is Senior Advisor for Education and Communication for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Research Council (NRC). He has served as Director of committees on K-12 and undergraduate science education, the National Academies’ Teacher Advisory Council, and was Deputy Director for the Academy's Center for Education. He has directed or contributed to fifteen National Academies reports focusing on teacher education, advanced study for high school students, K-8 education, and undergraduate education. He also directed a committee of the NAS and the Institute of Medicine that authored Science, Evolution, and Creationism (and oversees the NAS's efforts to confront challenges to teaching evolution in the nation’s public schools. He oversees an effort at the Academy to work with professional societies and with state academies of science on education issues. He also oversees work on improving education in the life sciences under the aegis of the NRC’s Board on Life Sciences. Dr. Labov is an organismal biologist by training. Prior to accepting his position at the Academy in 1997, he spent almost 20 years on the biology faculty at Colby College (Maine). He is a Kellogg National Fellow, a Fellow in Education of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow.

Arlene F. Lee is the Board Director for the Committee on Law and Justice. She is managing a range of activities including a study on the Causes and Consequences of the High Rates of Incarceration and a Roundtable on Crime Trends. In addition, she is co-managing with IOM a study sponsored by the CDC and requested by the White House on a Public Health Research Agenda to Reduce Firearms Violence. Prior to joining CLAJ Lee was the Director of Policy at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, where she focused on helping federal and state elected officials develop research-informed policies to improve results for children and families. In this capacity, she oversaw, a leading national resource for results-based policy. Previously she was the Executive Director of the Maryland Governor's Office for Children and has served as the Deputy Director of the Georgetown University Center for Juvenile Justice Reform, Director of the Federal Resource Center for Children of Prisoners and Youth Strategies Manager for the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention. Lee is also the author of numerous articles and co-authored The Impact of the Adoption and Safe Families Act on Children of Incarcerated Parents. As a result of her work, she was named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women and has received three Governor’s Citations. She has a B.A. in Sociology from Washington College and a J.D. from Washington College of Law, American University.

Poornima Madhavan is the Director of the Board on Human-Systems Integration (BOHSI). Prior to working with BOHSI, Dr. Madhavan served as an associate professor of human factors in the department of psychology and the director of undergraduate research at Old Dominion University. Additionally, Dr. Madhavan held affiliated faculty positions at Old Dominion University in the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center; the Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Initiative; the Homeland Security Research Group; and the Vision Lab. Dr. Madhavan has also served as the founder and director of the Applied Decision Making Lab of Old Dominion University (established in 2007), dedicated to the study of human decision-making issues pertaining to defense and homeland security, aviation, and sustainable energy/climate change.
Other professional positions include council representative, Psychology Section, of the Virginia Academy of Science; human-systems integration subject matter expert, ICF International; executive board member, Scientific and Technical Advisory Council, Chesapeake Bay Program; member, Federal Education Advocacy Coordination Network; member, American Psychological Association; member, Human Services Advisory Board, City Council of Chesapeake, Virginia; and human factors consultant, U.S. Army Research Laboratory.  Dr. Madhavan holds an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Human Factors (Engineering Psychology) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Madhavan also spent two years in the Dynamic Decision Making Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University as a postdoctoral fellow and was awarded the Earl Alluisi Award for Early Career Achievement by the American Psychological Association for outstanding contributions to the field of human factors/engineering psychology within ten years of receiving her doctorate degree.

Natalie Nielsen is acting director of the Board on Testing and Assessment at the National Research Council (NRC). At the NRC she has directed studies on K-12 education, including the studies that produced the reports Successful K-12 STEM Education: Identifying Effective Approaches in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics and Monitoring Progress toward Successful STEM Education: A Nation Advancing? Throughout her career, Natalie’s research and program evaluation activities have addressed various topics in K-12 education: federal, state, and district-level reform efforts, educational technology initiatives, after-school programs, teacher quality, data-driven decision-making, youth development programs, high-school reform; and college readiness and access (both generally and in STEM). Before joining the NRC, Natalie was the director of research at the Business-Higher Education Forum, and a senior researcher at SRI International. She has also served as a staff writer for AAAS’ Project 2061, exhibit researcher at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, and exhibit writer and internal evaluator at the San Diego Natural History Museum. Natalie holds a B.S. in geology from the University of California, Davis; an M.S. in geological sciences from San Diego State University; and a Ph.D. in education from George Mason University.

Thomas J. Plewes is Director of the Committee on Population of the National Academy of Sciences. He also serves as a Senior Program Officer for the Committee on National Statistics. He has directed studies on topics such as measuring research and development expenditures in the U.S. economy, improving access to educational data for research and analysis, measuring international trade traffic, understanding the U.S. agriculture sector and allocating federal funds for English language learning programs. Prior to joining the National Academies staff, he was Associate Commissioner for Employment and Unemployment Statistics of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and, in the rank of Lieutenant General, he served as Chief of the U.S. Army Reserve. He is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association and a member of the Population Association of America. He was a member of the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology. He has a B.A. degree in Economics from Hope College and an M.A. degree in Economics from the George Washington University.

Heidi Schweingruber is the Director of the Board on Science Education at the National Research Council (NRC). In this role she oversees many of the projects in the BOSE portfolio. She also collaborates with the director and board to develop new projects. She co-directed the study that resulted in the report A Framework for K-12 Science Education (2011) which is the first step in revising national standards for K-12 science education. She served as study director for a review of NASA’s pre-college education programs completed in 2008 and co-directed the study that produced the 2007 report Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8. She served as an editor on the NRC report Mathematics Learning in Early Childhood: Paths to Excellence and Equity (2009). She co- authored two award-winning books for practitioners that translate findings of NRC reports for a broader audience: Ready, Set, Science! Putting Research to Work in K-8 Science Classrooms (2008) and Surrounded by Science (2010). Prior to joining the NRC, Heidi worked as a senior research associate at the Institute of Education Sciences in the U.S. Department of Education where she administered the preschool curriculum evaluation program and a grant program in mathematics education. Previously, she was the director of research for the Rice University School Mathematics Project an outreach program in K-12 mathematics education, and taught in the psychology and education departments at Rice University. Heidi holds a Ph.D. in psychology (developmental) and anthropology, and a certificate in culture and cognition from the University of Michigan.

Barbara A. Wanchisen is the Director of the Board on Behavioral, Cognitive, and Sensory Sciences (BBCSS) as well as Director of the Board on Human-Systems Integration (BOHSI). She is a long-standing member of the Psychonomic Society, the Association for Behavior Analysis, and the American Psychological Association. In January 2004, she became a Fellow of Division 25 (Behavior Analysis) of the American Psychological Association. She has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and The Behavior Analyst while also serving as a guest reviewer of a number of other journals. From November 2001 until April 2008, Wanchisen was the executive director of the Federation of Behavioral, Psychological, & Cognitive Sciences in Washington, DC. In 2004, she was instrumental in the founding of the Federation's Foundation for the Advancement of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, a non-profit organization that assumed the educational mission of the Federation. Previously, Wanchisen was Professor in the Department of Psychology and Director of the college-wide Honors Program at Baldwin-Wallace College, near Cleveland, Ohio. Barbara Wanchisen received a B.A. in English and Philosophy from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania, an M.A. in English from Villanova University, and her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from Temple University.

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