The ESAL Team

Steering Committee

Arti Garg

Local government and community engagement is critical to many science- and technology-related policy issues. But there are few avenues for engineers and scientists to learn how to effectively engage locally. I founded ESAL to help address this gap.

Christopher Jackson
Workshops Director

I’m passionate about translating my research beyond the laboratory and making real-world impacts. ESAL is a great opportunity to do that at the local level, where technical skills can play a key role in getting things done.

Chris Spitzer
Content Director

I’ve always wanted to get more involved in my community. ESAL is helping me figure out how!

Kendra Zamzow

In my job, I already work at the interface of science and policy. ESAL was a natural fit!

Laurie Chong
Vice Chair

I joined ESAL because all politics is local, and I wanted to learn how to engage in activities closer to home and to help other scientists do the same.

Nick Anthis

After leaving Washington, DC, I wanted to get involved in my local community, but I didn’t know where to start. Getting involved with ESAL has opened my eyes to the many ways one can get engaged locally and start making a difference at home.

Leadership Committee

Rachel Owen
Development Director

I love connecting scientists to opportunities where they can engage locally using whatever time and skills they can give. There are so many ways that science and policy intersect and I am thrilled to help ESAL highlight these connections.

Rebecca Mandt
Events Director

It is becoming increasingly clear that we need more scientists at the table in every aspect of public life. I am excited to be involved in ESAL's mission of empowering scientists to meaningfully engage with policy issues in their own local communities.

Jake Pasner
Technology Director

My life's work is in opening the lines of communication between our human communities and the data technologies that increasingly underpin them. I'm proud to support ESAL's work towards this critical mission

Skylar Knight
Communications Director

Scientists and engineers have invaluable expertise to help address some of society's most pressing problems. I joined ESAL to ensure they feel empowered to participate in local politics and beyond.

Taylor Spicer
Managing Director

Every person has important assets that can shape their neighborhoods, cities, and states. I am humbled to support members of the ESAL network seeking ways to most effectively use their skills, knowledge, and research to engage local governments and communities.


Daniel Howard
Tech Team

Supporting our local communities is a moral imperative for scientists given that public taxes funds our training and research. Recognizing that, ESAL as a community helps to maximize our impact on the communities which support us.

Devin Reese
Content Team

I got involved with ESAL because I believe that science engenders a distinct way of thinking that is valuable for making positive changes in our communities.

Erin Partlan
Events Team

A researcher by training and an implementation advocate in practice, I'm very interested in the translation of scientific knowledge to everyday life. In favor of increasing sustainability and equity through data driven decision making.

Gwendolyn Bogard
Workshops Team

Through volunteering with ESAL, I hope to give researchers the tools to communicate and build trust with policymakers and community members, as well as the confidence put those tools into practice.

Krystle Kalafut
Events Team

I am passionate about pursuing science that addresses public health challenges, but it is clear that clear science communication is necessary in order to translate research into better outcomes. I am excited to work with ESAL on building connections between scientists and the communities in which they live.

Lina Zhu
Content Team

Through ESAL, I hope to become better at translating both science and policy and to delve deeper into the issues affecting my community.

Lyndsey I. Gray
Content Team

I believe communities become stronger when scientists lend them their expertise, curiosity, and love for evidence-based solutions. However, scientists have much to learn from communities as well. I love that ESAL acts as a bridge between the two.

Malvika Singhal
Website Design

ESAL is pivotal in highlighting the community-aspect of science and how interconnected local government decisions are with the research being done in the field. By getting involved, I can contribute to the goal of demystifying policy to fellow scientists and learn a lot along the way.

Matthew Diasio
Communications Team

ESAL drew me in because there's so much more scientists and engineers can do to contribute to their local communities. Everyone should be able to live in a place where policies are informed by evidence.

Nanxi Xu
Workshops Team

I'm interested in bridging academia and community. ESAL provides great resources for scientists to create real-world significance at the local level. I joined ESAL in hoping to empower scientists to collaborate with their local partners.

Rosie Dutt
Content Team

ESAL works to highlight the efforts of engineers and scientists at a community level, a prospect I am eager to support as a volunteer writer with the aim to share their stories to inspire others!

Tolulope Kolapo
Web Team

ESAL is a pointer to the real importance of policy making locally and how scientists can get involved in policy making at the local level. Working with ESAL as a volunteer will deepen my understanding of the ways scientists can communicate their research, implement policies and get involved at the local level.

Emily Schafer
Events Team

I love connecting scientists with their local communities to increase scientific literacy and develop strong, evidence-based policies. I joined ESAL to inspire others to do the same!

Grace Wickerson
Workshops Team

I work at the intersection of medicine and technology, and have seen the ways our health could be improved with better policies. I think volunteering with ESAL will help me develop the skills necessary to improve public health in my local community.

Pooja Shah
Workshops Team

Science has the amazing ability to explain how our world works and how we can fix the many problems that affect humans in their day to day lives, but only if that science is distributed to everyone who needs it. By joining ESAL, I hope to learn not only more about the scientific community, but also how I can use the vast power of science to make a difference on a policy and community level.

Henry Pitts
Workshops Team

Effective resource management requires data-driven science that informs policy, and that starts at the local level. ESAL provides policy-makers with the tools to operate within that science/policy/communication nexus, and I'm excited to play a part in that.

Tony Van Witsen
Content Team

Science alone and facts alone never change anyone's mind. People always view scientific research and form their opinions about it based on their existing beliefs, attitudes and who they feel they are.

Heidi Waite
Communications Team

I love science communication and am interested in exploring the intersection of science and policy. ESAL was a perfect fit! I'm excited to leverage my communication skills to further ESAL's goals of helping scientists engage with policymakers.

Robin Mays
Content Team

I believe that just as the scientific community is strengthened by collaboration and communication, our local governments are strengthened when citizens are empowered by organizations like ESAL to collaborate with policy makers creating evidence-based solutions.

Joel Lesher
Content Team

I have spent my short career connecting the public to scientists and lawmakers in an effort to promote science-based civic engagement. With this in mind, ESAL was a natural fit, and one which falls under the domain of science policy – a personal hobby of mine. By working within local communities, we can observe positive change in real-time, and I am thrilled to be able to contribute.

Matt Martin
Conference Coordinator

Through ESAL, I aim to support the next generation of science leaders as they engage with their local communities. Ensuring science has a seat at every table has never been more important.

Eric Wang
Web Team

I'm passionate about both research and making a positive impact on my community, and ESAL is the most effective way for me to do both. As a volunteer, I hope to help spread the benefits of science to the greater public

Mark DiTusa
Workshops Team

I'm passionate about showing how the Ivory Tower is a myth, how scientists are both a part of their communities and how the community influences their science. I joined ESAL because they are aiming to make that connection more overt, and I'm excited to strengthen those links!

Cherry Cheuk Lam Cheung
Social Media

As a PhD student in Immunology, I’m hoping not only to translate science from bench to bedside but also make an impact on my local community. ESAL is a perfect platform for me to interact with the public and policymakers.

Julie Fornaciari
Communications Team

I enjoy science communication because it's a way to translate science to other audiences and put science in people's lives. ESAL helps to do that on a local level and I am excited to engage more on the policy side in addition to the communication and education side.

Hailey Reiss
Communications Team

Our science is stronger when we are able to connect to the public. ESAL's emphasis on acting locally allows us to uplift our communities and foster an environment where the next generation of scientists can thrive.

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