Sexual Harassment in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

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.

benyaDr. Frazier Benya is a Senior Program Officer at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and is a member of the staff supporting the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM), a standing committee of the National Academies. Currently, Dr. Benya serves as the Director of the Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. Recently, she served as the study director for the National Academies study “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.” Dr. Benya’s work focuses on ensuring that science, engineering, and medicine are ethical and socially responsible, both in their practice and in who gets to participate in the work. Before joining the CWSEM staff, Dr. Benya worked with the National Academy of Engineering on improving and enhancing engineering ethics education and on analyzing the pathways engineers take from education to the workforce.

Dr. Benya holds a B.A with honors in Science, Technology and Society from the University of Puget Sound, and a M.A. in Bioethics and Ph.D. in History of Science, Technology, and Medicine from the University of Minnesota. Her Ph.D. focused on the history of bioethics and discussions of scientific social responsibility during the 1960s and 1970s, which led to the creation of the first federal bioethics commission in 1974. Her M.A. examined 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. Dr. Benya was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences in 2017.

Bear PicDr. Ashley Bear is a Senior 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). 

Ngun PicIrene Ngun is an Associate Program Officer with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Prior to this position she was a Research Associate for the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM), a standing committee of the National Academies. Currently, Irene coordinates the outreach efforts for the recently published study on the Integration of Arts, Humanities, and STEMM in Higher Education. She is also a staff member of the Action Collaborative to Prevent Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. In addition to her work with BHEW and CWSEM, she also coordinates an international project on Improving the Inclusion of Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine. 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. in International Relations from Yonsei Graduate School of International Studies, where she developed her interest in science policy. She received her B.A. from Goshen College in Biochemistry/Molecular Biology and Global Economics.

AA profile picAusten Applegate is a Senior Program Assistant with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Prior to joining the National Academies he worked in a number of professional fields including international development, clinical research, and education. 

Austen holds a dual B.A. in Psychology and Sociology from Guilford College. There he developed his interest in social science research and policy through his coursework in behavioral medicine, clinical assessment, public health, health policy, qualitative and quantitative research methodology, race and gender disparities, and social science history. Austen plans to pursue a Master in Public Health in the future. In his free time, Austen enjoys being active outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and cooking.

MLDahlberg photo.jpgMaria Lund Dahlberg is a Program Officer with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce and the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine focused on the Science on Effective Mentoring in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, and Medicine). Her work with the National Academies spans topics ranging from equity, inclusion, and diversity in science, through science communications, to postdoctoral research experiences, health care, and innovation ecosystems. She came to the National 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 with high honors in physics from Vassar College and an MS in physics from the Pennsylvania State University.

Leyla BalimtasLeyla Balimtas is a Communications and Media Associate for the Division on Earth and Life Studies (DELS) and the Policy and Global Affairs Division (PGA). Her primary responsibilities include promoting report releases, and study, committee, and roundtable activities and events through targeted outreach pitches, e-newsletters, and social media campaigns. She oversees the DELS and PGA websites and is fundamental in creating communication and derivative products (briefs, infographics, and videos) for Academies projects and publications. Prior to starting her work with the Academies in August 2017, she held positions with the Center for International Environmental Law and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Leyla graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication – Public Relations and minors in Sustainability Studies and Spanish Language and Cultures.