Washington Academy of Sciences

 2019 – 2020 term

Judy Staveley
Judy Staveley is a Program Analyst contractor for the Joint Program Committee 5 – Military Operational Medicine Research Program, a former community college professor in biotechnology, an author in forensic science, an international speaker, and a professional athlete.
Poorva Dharkar
Poorva Dharkar
Poorva Dharkar is President of the Bethesda Chapter of the the Association of Women in Science. Her work is contributing to building equitable workspaces, broadening STEM participation, and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship for women in STEM. She also serves as a board of director of STEM -link, an organization that promotes student achievement and career exploration in math and science for K-12 students by connecting them to the STEM community. In May 2018, she received the MBA Alumni Leadership Award for impacting the inaugural Business Conference on Blockchain & Financial Technology at the Lerner College of the University of Delaware, from which she had received her MBA in Data Analytics and Project Management. Dr. Dharkar earned her doctorate from the University of Pune (National Chemical Laboratory) (2010), where she studied biochemistry and crystallography. Her research at the National Cancer Institute and later at National Institutes of Child Health and Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) was focused on cancer as well as neuroscience using protein crystallography. She has served as the Associate Editor for the Fellows Editorial Board at NIH where she led a team of editors to support scientists at 27 centers across the NIH in publishing their research.
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.
Journal Editor:
Sethanne Howard

Sethanne Howard is an astronomer, retired Chief of the Nautical Almanac Office. Her main field of research is interacting galaxies.
Vice President, Membership:
Ram Sriram

Ram D. Sriram is currently the chief of the Software and Systems Division, Information Technology Laboratory, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He also serves as the manager of the NIST’s Health IT Program. Before joining the Software and Systems Division, Sriram was the leader of the Design and Process group in the Manufacturing Systems Integration Division, Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory, where he conducted research on standards for interoperability of computer-aided design systems. Prior to joining NIST, he was on the engineering faculty (1986-1994) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was instrumental in setting up the Intelligent Engineering Systems Laboratory. Sriram has co-authored or authored nearly 275 publications, including several books and videos. Sriram was a founding co-editor of the International Journal for AI in Engineering. Sriram received several awards including: an NSF’s Presidential Young Investigator Award (1989); ASME Design Automation Award (2011); ASME CIE Distinguished Service Award (2014); the Washington Academy of Sciences’ Distinguished Career in Engineering Sciences Award (2015); ASME CIE division’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2016); CMU CEE’s Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible Distinguished Public Service Award (2018). Sriram is a Fellow of ASME, AAAS, IEEE and Washington Academy of Sciences, a Distinguished Member (life) of ACM, a Senior Member (life) of AAAI, and a member of INCOSE. Sriram has a B.Tech. from IIT, Madras, India, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University.
Vice President, Administration:
Terry Longstreth

W.I. Longstreth, III (Terry) is a Senior Member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), a retired Systems Engineer and specialist in data and information standards, data architecture and data systems development.
Vice President, Junior Academy:
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.

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.

Michael 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 and the Philosophical Society of Washington (PSW-Science) to WAS.
Mahesh Mani

Mahesh Mani is a Senior Technology Adviser with Allegheny Science and Technology supporting the Advanced Manufacturing Office of the Department of Energy in areas such as smart and sustainable manufacturing. Prior to this, Mani was a Senior Research Scientist supporting the Systems Integration Division, Engineering Laboratory, National Institute of Standards and Technology. Mani also serves on the Executive Committee for American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Computers & Information in Engineering Division and is an Associate Editor for ASME Journal of Computing and Information Science in Engineering.
Joanne Horn
Joanne Horn
Joanne Horn received a Ph.D. from Univ. California Berkeley in microbiology, where she studied DNA repair and recombination in Pseudomonas. Dr. Horn spent a post-doctoral fellowship at the German Natl. Institute for Biotechnology, working on generating bacterial metabolic pathways for mercury decontamination, and enzymatic fusion proteins. Following her studies abroad, Horn spent some time teaching at Univ. West Florida, then went into working at Lawrence Livermore Natl. Laboratory for 13 years, followed by work in a startup biotech company (Integenx). Horn has also worked with a government contractor (MRIGlobal) on a public health projects based in Central Asia and Africa, and is currently directing a State-funded nonprofit (Frederick CREST) aimed at driving STEM-based industries by partnering with higher education. Throughout, Horn has performed research on diverse areas, ranging from gene expression, metabolic pathway construction, metal and organic pollutant degradation, biocorrosion of nuclear waste containers, automated biological sample preparation and analysis, surveillance of emerging infections, and microbial forensics. This broad-ranging career path has allowed Dr. Horn to work with many types of professionals: from engineers and geologists, to public health professionals, law enforcement and diplomats. While constantly engaging and developing new skills, this path has also allowed to transfer knowledge from one sector to another and exploit the fertile interfaces between them.
Barbara Ransom
Barbara Ransom
Barbara Ransom is an internationally known geochemist, geologist, and oceanographer who now works as a Program Director in the Federal government supporting university-based fundamental research and education in geoscience. Her experience and interests are broad, ranging from geo- and environmental science and engineering to nanotechnology and catalysis, to cyberinfrastructure and large project management, to sustainability and resilience, to building public-private partnerships. She has collaborated with a wide range of colleagues from different disciplines on a variety of different topics. She is a dedicated public servant and, throughout her career has striven to promote the sciences and science education for all.
David Torain
David Torain
David Torain’s research area is Optimization and Partial Differential Equations and currently studying the second derivative of Torain’s Equations, where he studies the use of parametric nonlinear differential equations as a mathematical model.  Dr. Torain was elected in 2019 to American Association for the Advancement of Science: Section Y on General Interest in Science and Engineering Fellow: “For distinguished contributions to the field of Applied Mathematics, particularly for the discovery of Torain’s Equations that model the harvesting of species under abnormal conditions”.

Immediate Past

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.


Mina Izadjoo has agreed to serve once again as President of the Academy for the next term.