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Staff Biographies    

Rudin PicTom Rudin is the Director of the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine —a position he assumed in mid-August 2014. Prior to joining the Academies, Mr. Rudin served as senior vice president for career readiness and senior vice president for advocacy, government relations and development at the College Board from 2006-2014. He was also vice president for government relations from 2004-2006 and executive director of grants planning and management from 1996-2004 at the College Board. Before joining the College Board, Mr. Rudin was a policy analyst at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
In 1991, Mr. Rudin taught courses in U.S. public policy, human rights, and organizational management as a visiting instructor at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey. In the early 1980s, he directed the work of the Governor’s Task Force on Science and Technology for North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr., where he was involved in several new state initiatives, such as the North Carolina Biotechnology Center and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University, and he holds master’s degrees in public administration and in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bear PicDr. Ashley Bear is a Program Officer with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Before coming to the Academies, Dr. Bear was a Presidential Management Fellow with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Biological Infrastructure in the Directorate for Biological Sciences, where she managed a portfolio of mid-scale investments in scientific infrastructure and led analyses of the impact of NSF funding on the career trajectories of postdoctoral researchers. During her fellowship years, Dr. Bear also worked as a Science Policy Officer for the State Department’s Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, where she worked to promote science diplomacy and track emerging scientific trends with implications for foreign policy, managed programs to increase the scientific capacity of State Department, and acted as the liaison to the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.

Dr. Bear holds a Sc.B. in Neuroscience from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University. While working on her doctoral research on the developmental basis of courtship behavior in butterflies, Dr. Bear co-founded the Evolution Outreach Group, a volunteer organization composed of students and postdoctoral researchers that visit schools, museums, and camps in the greater New Haven, CT area to teach K-12 students about evolution through hands-on activities and demonstrations. Dr. Bear is passionate about science outreach to the public and about promoting diversity and inclusion in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

BeninsonDr. Lida Beninson is a Program Officer with the Board of Higher Education and Workforce at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. With experiences in STEM education, data science, science and technology policy, biomedical research, and agricultural biotechnology, Lida pursues opportunities to serve society through her diverse scientific expertise. She served as Editor-in-Chief for The Journal of Science Policy and Governance and was a recipient of the AIBS Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award. While serving as an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow with the National Science Foundation's Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) directorate, Lida engaged in cross-agency initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion in STEM fields, promote K-12 computer science education, and develop a federal strategic plan in data science research.

Lida received a Ph.D. in Integrative Physiology and graduate certificate in Science and Technology Policy from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and her B.A. with a double concentration in Neuropsychology and Education from Princeton University. Her passions include exciting people about science and transforming our scientific workforce to be more diverse and innovative.

BF PicDr. Frazier Benya is a Program Officer in the National Academy of Engineering’s Center for Engineering Ethics and Society (CEES). She manages the projects run by CEES and is co-leading the effort to expand and enhance the NAE Online Ethics Center (OEC) for Engineering and Science website. Her work at the NAE has focused on improving and enhancing engineering ethics education, on the ethical and social issues with advancing technologies, and on the pathways engineers take from education to the workforce. She received her Ph.D. in History of Science, Technology, and Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 2012 and her M.A. in Bioethics, also from the University of Minnesota, in 2011. Her Ph.D. thesis focused on the history of bioethics and scientific social responsibility during the 1960s and 1970s that led to the creation of the first federal bioethics commission in 1974. Her M.A. work analyzed different types of institutional methodologies for considering the social implications of science with a focus on those that integrate scientific research with ethics research in the United States and Canada.

Dahlberg PicMaria Lund Dahlberg is an Associate Program Officer with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She works with a number of groups across the institution, including the Board on Higher Education and Workforce, the central Office of Communications, and the National Academy of Medicine, specializing in report review, production, and dissemination. She came to the Academies by way of a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellowship, which she received after completing all requirements short of finalizing the dissertation for her doctorate in physics at the Pennsylvania State University. Ms. Dahlberg holds a BA in physics from Vassar College and an MS in physics from the Pennsylvania State University.

Scherer PicLayne Scherer is a Program Officer with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Prior to joining the Academies, Ms. Scherer supported strategic initiatives, conducted program analysis, and managed cross-agency partnerships for the Office of the Assistant Director for Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation. Ms. Scherer served as the National Science and Technology Council Executive Secretary for the Federal Coordination in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Task Force responsible for overseeing the governance and communication between fifteen participating agencies working to improve federal investment in STEM education. As a result of the cross-agency work, Ms. Scherer developed an interest in performance management and completed training as a group facilitator and graphic recorder from the Performance Improvement Council.

Ms. Scherer earned her M.P.P from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, and she focused her studies on education policy, non-profit management, and quantitative analysis. She earned her B.A. from the University of Michigan. Outside of work, Ms. Scherer is committed to the development of women’s sports and is an assistant coach for the women’s ultimate Frisbee team at Catholic University of America.

Ngun PicIrene Ngun is a Research Associate with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. She also serves as Research Associate for the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM), a standing committee of the National Academies. Before joining the National Academies she was a congressional intern for the U.S. House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology (Democratic Office) and served briefly in the office of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson of Texas (D-33).

Irene Ngun received her M.A. from Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies (Seoul,South Korea), where she developed her interest in  science policy. She  received her B.A. from Goshen College in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Global Economics. 


Colman PicJaime Colman is a Senior Program Assistant with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Before joining the National Academies she was a Program and Policy Associate at the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Ms. Colman received her B.A. in Sociology and Intercultural Studies from Houghton College. There she developed her interest in science and technology policy through her research on the mobile money experience of persons with a disability in Kenya.