Washington Academy of Sciences

 2015-2018 term

Mina Izadjoo
Mina Izadjoo is the Chief Science Officer and Director of the Biosciences Division at Trideum Corporation. Formerly, she was a “Senior Distinguished Scientist” and Director of the Diagnostics and Translational Research Center of the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for Advancement of Military Medicine. She served as the Chief of Wound Biology and Translational Research Division at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC.  While there, she was awarded the title of “Distinguished Scientist”.  Her research efforts have been focused on developing and evaluating diagnostics and therapeutics.
John Kaufhold
John Kaufhold is a data scientist and managing partner of Deep Learning Analytics. Before this, Dr. Kaufhold investigated deep learning algorithms as a staff scientist at NIH. Prior to NIH, Dr. Kaufhold was a Technical Fellow at SAIC, serving as principal investigator or technical lead on a number of large government contracts funded by NIH, DARPA and IARPA, among others. Prior to joining SAIC, Dr. Kaufhold investigated machine learning algorithms for medical image analysis and video analysis at GE’s Global Research Center. Dr. Kaufhold was a Whitaker Fellow in Boston University’s biomedical engineering department, earning his Ph.D. in 2001. Dr. Kaufhold is an inventor on 18 patent filings and is author on over 50 peer-reviewed publications.
Ron Hietala
Ron Hietala
Ronald Hietala is a semi-retired industrial-organizational psychologist. His career was in training and organizational development. He is interested in scientific methodology, process improvement, and human development and functioning.
Vice President, Affiliated Societies:
Gene Williams
Eugene Williams is a Professor of Biology at Salisbury University. His research focuses on how fishes acclimatize and adapt to changes in temperature. He explores the biochemical, molecular and cellular attributes that allow some fish, but not others, to thrive over a wide variety of environmental temperatures. He is particularly interested in how cell membranes contribute to overall cell function during temperate acclimatization. He is a Fulbright Scholar and conducted some of his research in Iceland. His web site is here.
Vice President, Membership:
Sue Cross
Sue Cross is a retired microbiologist with a specialty in virology and has worked in academia, private industry and as a contractor for the DoD.  Academic work included teaching courses in virology and immunology for medical and graduate students and serving as a mentor for graduate students and medical students as summer interns.  In private industry her area of expertise was in antiviral research on marine macroorganisms and microorganisms.  The teamwork resulted in the discovery of new and novel compounds with antiviral, antibacterial, and anticancer activity for which patents were filed. Her specialty in biodefense research is in virology.
Vice President, Administration:
Nick Tran
Nick Tran
Nick Tran is a founder of several companies, including NanoBMT, which focuses on R&D of nanomaterials for energy and biomedical applications. Previously, he was a research scientist for the Navy where he solved chemistry and physics problems of highly exotic nature, from the catalytic conversion of carbon dioxide into synthetic fuels to photon emissions from the cavitational collapse of hydrated microbubbles. He has been a research associate at the University of Maryland, adjunct chemistry professor at George Washington University, and scientific advisor for various government and industry associations, including DARPA, the DOE, and the DoD.
Vice President, Junior Academy:

Board of Managers

The Academy’s Board of Managers is comprised of the officers listed above, the members-at-large listed below, the immediate past president, plus the representatives of the Affiliated Societies.

Members at Large

Mary Snieckus
Mary Snieckus
Mary Snieckus is a Natural Resource Policy Analyst at the American Forest Foundation, USDA – National Institute of Food and Agriculture. She has experience in consulting and working for both federal agencies and NGOs. Her work has focused on helping people, businesses and communities steward the forests around them in ways that are ecologically, economically and culturally sustainable, healthy, and resilient. She is passionate about natural resource policy based on experience in the woods that helps generate solutions to pressing issues, including climate change and ecological restoration, through innovative approaches like payments for ecosystem services.
Meisam Izadjoo
Meisam has spent the majority of his career as an IT Security professional. Currently he is serving as IT Security Manager at Exeter Government Services and supports a number of Federal clients. For the past 4 years he has been supporting the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He obtained his Bachelors degree from George Mason University and also serves as the Academy’s Webmaster.
Neal Schmeidler
neal schmeidler
Neal F. Schmeidler designs and executes studies to analyze work and business activities to find solutions that improve organizational performance. He has applied his skills to activities such as air traffic control, aviation safety inspection, food safety inspection, test and evaluation of ocean oil spill response capability, medical care response to acts of bioterrorism, maintenance of the National Airspace System, and space shuttle orbiter maintenance. As a Manager at Grant Thornton LLP, he oversees workforce analysis and staff model development studies and provides technical thought leadership in the design and development of solutions. Prior to his present position, he owned and operated a small industrial engineering services firm providing solutions to resource management challenges for clients in federal and local governmental agencies as well as firms in the private sector.
Michael Cohen
mike cohen
Michael P. Cohen is Principal Sampling Statistician at American Institutes for Research. Dr. Cohen was President of the Washington Academy of Sciences (WAS) 2003-04. He represents the Washington Statistical Society to WAS.
Paul Arveson
Paul Arveson’s first career was as a physicist in the Navy, where he served as a researcher doing projects in acoustics and oceanography. He has an MS in Computer Systems Management, and has served as a developer and technology architect for various agencies.  He is co-founder of the Balanced Scorecard Institute, a strategic consulting firm.  Recently he served as a Senior Associate in the Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion Program at the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Frank Haig, S.J.
Frank Haig, S.J. is a Jesuit and a professor emeritus of physics at Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore, specializing in cosmology. Haig has served as the second President of Wheeling Jesuit University from 1966 to 1972 and the seventh President of LeMoyne College from 1981 until 1987.

Immediate Past President

Terrell Erickson
Terrell Erickson is the Director of Ecological Sciences for the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, D.C. She leads 17 national science disciplines (e.g., National Agronomist, National Forester, National Biologist, National Grazing Lands Specialist, and Science Advisors). Her interests include connecting long-term sustainable agriculture with best conservation practices. She is the principal author of a natural science publishers’ award-winning field guide on wetlands (2006).


Michael CobleMichael Coble
Michael Coble is a Forensic Biologist in the Applied Genetics Group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. Previously, Dr. Coble was the Chief of the Research Section at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, where he was involved in resolving a number of high profile historical cases including the genetic identification of an unknown child from the Titanic sinking and the two missing Romanov children. Dr. Coble was listed among the top 20 high-impact authors in Legal Medicine & Forensic Science from 2001 to 2011 by Science Watch. His current research at NIST focuses on DNA mixture interpretation and research with lineage markers.

Journal Editor (ex officio)

Sethanne Howard
Sethanne Howard
Sethanne Howard is an astronomer, retired Chief of the Nautical Almanac Office. Her main field of research is interacting galaxies.