John Veras (he/him/his), JVeras@nas.edu
Senior Program Assistant
Responsibilities: John supports in managing the logistics of annual meetings of the Action Collaborative.
Bio: John is originally from Rockland County, New York, and has lived and worked in Washington, D.C. for the past five and a half years. John has worked for a variety of K-12 and higher education organizations in D.C., including the Association of American Colleges and Universities, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. John graduated from Princeton University in 2011 with a degree in American History. His senior thesis focused on the history of Latinos in American baseball and how the complexity of race in Latin America has changed baseball historiography. In his free time, John enjoys volunteering at the Smithsonian Museum of American Art and serves as a reading volunteer with local elementary schools. Additionally, he plays rugby for the Washington Men’s Rugby Football Club.
Maria Lund Dahlberg (she/her/hers), MDahlberg@nas.edu
Alex Helman (she/her/hers), AHelman@nas.edu
Responsibilities: Alex is the staff lead of the Prevention Working Group.
Bio: Dr. Helman is a Program Officer with the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Before joining the National Academies full time, Dr. Helman was as a 2018 Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academies, where she worked on the 2018 report “Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, Consequences in Academic, Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine”. Currently, Dr. Helman co-leads a consensus study to identify and address factors contributing to the underrepresentation of women in science, engineering, medicine, and assists with the National Academies Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education. Dr. Helman received her Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry from the University of Kentucky, and her B.S. in Biochemistry from Elon University. Dr. Helman is passionate about issues of health equity, dementia, and creating a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable scientific workforce.
Austen Applegate (he/him/his), JApplegate@nas.edu
Responsibilities: Austen manages receipt of institutional financial commitments.
Bio: Prior to joining the National Academies, Austen worked in a number of professional fields including international development, clinical research, and education. Austen holds a 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. Mr. Applegate plans to pursue a Master in Public Health in the future. In his free time, Mr. Applegate enjoys being active outdoors, spending time with family and friends, and cooking.
Tom Rudin (he/him/his), TRudin@nas.edu
Director of the Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine (CWSEM), and of the Board on Higher Education and Workforce (BHEW)
Responsibilities: Tom provides guidance and strategy for the Action Collaborative, helping ensure that it connects with ongoing projects for CWSEM, BHEW, and the National Academies more broadly.
Bio: 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.