NASW committees and liaisons

There are many ways to volunteer with NASW, including participating in one of the committees below. If you're interested in learning more about what you can do to get involved, please contact the committee chairs or liaisons listed or write director@nasw.org.

Awards

The NASW Awards Committee administers two annual awards competitions: the Science in Society Awards and the Excellence in Institutional Writing Awards. The Science in Society Awards recognize investigative or interpretive reporting about science and its impact on society. They especially target the kind of critical, probing work that would not receive an award from a special-interest group. The Excellence in Institutional Writing Awards recognize high-caliber, publicly accessible science writing produced on behalf of an institution or other non-media organization. Both sets of awards are presented at the NASW annual meeting. If you would like to serve as a judge, please contact the chairs.

Co-chairs:
Alla Katsnelson
Jyoti Madhusoodanan

Members:
Barbara Gastel
Jill Sakai

Diversity

The mission of the NASW Diversity Committee is to enhance diversity in science journalism by supporting writers from under-represented communities and bringing new members into the field. The committee will work with organizations such as the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association and others to introduce writers to science journalism, and collaborate on events such as panels and pitch slams at various conferences. The committee will also create and manage a database of sources that includes scientific experts of all backgrounds.

Co-chairs:
Jane Lee
Rodrigo Pérez Ortega

Members:
Pakinam Amer
Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato
Jennifer Bogo
Shraddha Chakradhar
Maggie Koerth-Baker
Robin Lloyd
Apoorva Mandavilli
Christina Selby
Ramin Skibba
Ashley Smart
Nidhi Subbaraman
Kelly Tyrrell
Marcus Woo
Philip Yam

Education

The NASW Education Committee helps aspiring science writers by providing mentoring; information about internships; information about educational opportunities; and general advice about becoming a science writer. The committee also maintains a discussion group and online resources for science-writing teachers. The committee's major projects include a mentoring program for new science writers, and an internship fair for student members, both offered at the annual AAAS meeting. The committee also offers a number of resources on the NASW Web site, such as a list of science-writing workshops and fellowships; classroom aids for science-writing teachers; and, soon, a list of college science-writing programs. Throughout the year, members respond to requests for information on science writing and science-writing careers. If you are interested in joining the Education Committee, please contact the co-chairs.

Co-chairs:
Czerne Reid
Ashley Yeager

Internship fair coordinator:
Erik Vance

Members:
Rachel Butch
Jenny Cutraro
Amber Dance
Jeff Grabmeier
Laurel Hamers
Robert Irion
Erik Vance
Sarah Webb

Fairness

The mission of the NASW Fairness Committee is to work toward and support fair and equitable treatment of all science writers. The committee has three approaches to achieving this mission. First, it seeks to identify existing or new mechanisms for community members needing problem-solving tools for situations involving equity, representation, and harassment. Second, it works to promote changes within the science writing community through data collection relevant to its fairness mission. Third, it seeks to partner with other interested entities pursuing similar goals; to promote and disseminate the freelance writer bill of rights; and, where tenable, to examine cases that arise to identify tools and problem-solving mechanisms that can be more generally and pre-emptively applied.

Chair:
Emily Willingham

Members:
Christie Aschwanden
Jennie Dusheck
Jeanne Erdmann
Deborah Franklin
Laura Helmuth
Seth Mnookin

Finance and audit

The NASW Finance and Audit Committee coordinates the board's financial oversight responsibilities by recommending policy to the board, interpreting it for the staff, and monitoring its implementation. The committee also provides board oversight of the organization's financial audit. The committee monitors the organization's financial records; reviews and oversees the creating of accurate, timely, and meaningful financial statements to be presented to the board; reviews the annual budget and recommends it to the full board for approval; monitors budget implementation and financial procedures; reviews internal financial controls; monitors budget assets; monitors compliance with federal, state, and other reporting requirements; reviews the organization's insurance coverage; and helps the full board understand the organization's finances. The committee also ensures that the organization has an independent audit of its financial statements annually, recommends the independent auditors for full board approval, receives the audit report and any other reports relating to the audit or to the assets and collection management practices of the National Association of Science Writers, and periodically reports the auditor's findings and recommendations to the board. The committee shall consist of not fewer than 2 board members. The members of the finance and audit committee shall be appointed by the president for 2-year terms. The board treasurer should chair this committee.

Treasurer and chair:
Alexandra Witze

Members:
Joseph Caputo
Siri Carpenter, president (ex officio)
Matt Davenport
Marilynn Marchione
Sandeep Ravindran

Freelance

The NASW Freelance Committee works to support full- or part-time freelance science writers. This committee focuses mainly on practical measures meant to help freelancers build and sustain a thriving business. The group also monitors long-term trends that affect the viability of freelancing as a career. Committee members helped develop NASW's Words' Worth rates database; manage a contract FAQ for writers and editors; assemble freelance-oriented panels for NASW's annual conference; and generate service articles for NASW's All About Freelancing website and for NASW's quarterly newsletter, ScienceWriters. New ideas and new members are always welcome.

Co-chairs:
Emily Anthes
Kendall Powell — NASW Board liaison

Members:
Chris Berdik
Karen Blum
Rebecca Boyle
Sophia Chen
Carmen Drahl
Jennie Dusheck
Doug Fox
Jennifer Frazer
Virginia Gewin
Sujata Gupta
Jeff Hecht
Jennifer Huber
Lynne Lamberg
Esther Landhuis
Robin Meadows
Sandeep Ravindran
Sarah Scoles
Rina Shaikh-Lesko
Ramin Skibba
Kim Smuga-Otto
Jessica Wapner

Governance

The NASW Governance Committee works to ensure that the organization meets its legal and moral obligations, while performing effectively and to standards of due diligence. The committee reviews the bylaws, as well as governance functions, on a regular basis. In addition to recommending best practices for the board to consider, the committee works in collaboration with board members to identify areas of policy and governance that need evaluation or update. The committee currently meets via conference call every other month and works collaboratively on research and proposal development in the interim. Contact governance@nasw.org.

Chair:
Curt Suplee
Arvind Suresh

Members:
Gretchen Miller
Clara Moskowitz
Jill Sakai
James Urton

Grants

The Grants Committee is a clearinghouse for all program funding requests made to NASW that are designed to help science writers in their professional lives. Payments are drawn against NASW's Authors Coalition income. Proposals should serve non-members as well as members, though preference is given to NASW members. The committee consists of one designated representative each from NASW’s PIO, staff/full-time employed journalists, education, and freelance committees as well as a chair appointed from the board by the NASW president and such other member or members as the president chooses.

Chair:
Amy Nordrum

Members:
Kevin Begos
Melissa Blouin
Kimbra Cutlip
John Johnson Jr.
Whitney McKnight

Information access

Formerly called the FOIA Committee, the Information Access Committee addresses issues surrounding access to information or scientists, institutional transparency, or manipulation of data.

Chair:
Jyllian Kemsley
William Schulz

Members:
Jill Adams
Teresa Carey
Liza Gross
Robin Marantz Henig
Irene Klotz
Gabriel Popkin
Charles Seife

International

The International Committee helps coordinate NASW's international outreach efforts. In odd years, this includes coordinating involvement in the World Conference of Science Journalists, most recently held in San Francisco in October 2017 and scheduled for Lausanne, Switzerland in July 2019. The committee also works with other initiatives of the World Federation of Science Journalists.

Chair: Nancy Shute

Members:
Curtis Brainard
Lynne Friedmann

Internet

The NASW Internet Committee oversees the organization's Internet services, including the NASW web site. Most committee business occurs throughout the year via the committee's discussion group. If you are interested in joining, please contact the chair or director@nasw.org.

Co-chairs:
Kathryn Jepsen
A’ndrea Elyse Messer

Members:
Ken Chiacchia
Jennifer Cutraro
Rebecca Guenard
Lila Guterman

Journalism

The mission of the NASW Journalism Committee is to promote and support science journalism. The committee builds programs for public outreach, training for journalists and access to documents and public records. The committee also collaborates with the Information Access committee on issues regarding transparence and public access to information.

Co-chairs:
Christie Aschwanden
Nidhi Subbaraman

Members:
Bethany Bookshire
Jenny Cutraro
Lydia Denworth
Betsy Mason
Apoorva Mandavilli
Rodrigo Pérez Ortega
Polina Porotsky
Erin Ross
Emily Sohn

Membership

The NASW Membership Committee reviews applications for membership when an applicant's qualifications or materials are not straightforward. The Committee also evaluates, researches, and proposes membership protocols, levels, benefits, discounts, etc. Members conduct business via a discussion group. Please email the chair if you are interested in helping out.

Co-chairs:
Kasha Patel
Sarah Zielinski

Members:
Allie Akmal
Marla Broadfoot
Raychelle Burks
Clinton Colmenares
Rebecca Guenard
Jane Hu
Ben Panko
Matt Shipman
Eleanor Spicer Rice

Nominating

The NASW Nominating Committee is convened every other year, one year in advance of elections. The current president appoints the committee. Recent past presidents typically serve on this committee. This collaborative working group determines the Executive Committee and Board slate. With consultation from the current Executive Committee and input from interested individuals, the Nominating Committee identifies and approaches members who may serve as appropriate candidates during the months preceding elections (elections occur in fall of every even year). The Nominating Committee ensures that candidates are qualified, aware of expectations, and willing to take on the role if elected. The Nominating Committee is responsible for ensuring that candidates submit biographies to the editor of ScienceWriters™ by the June 1 publication deadline. Interested in running for office? Visit the Candidate Info page for more information.

2018 Chair:
Laura Helmuth

Members:
Terry Devitt
Robin Henig
Ben Young Landis
Apoorva Mandavilli
Emily Sohn

PIO

The NASW PIO Committee works to support public information officers in the sciences, including those from universities, government agencies, journals, science foundations, and other organizations. The committee helps create and encourage professional development opportunities for science PIOs, aims to recognize the science communication work PIOs perform, and provides a platform for science PIOs to discuss their craft and learn from one another. The committee is focused on ensuring the interests and values of NASW’s PIO members are reflected within the larger organization.

Co-chairs:
Michael Newman
Kelly Tyrrell

Members:
Chris Barncard
Melissa Blouin
Eric Hamilton
Audrey Huang
Jennifer Huergo
Mari Jensen
Karen Kreeger
A’ndrea Messer
Leslie Minton
Sue Nichols
Patricia Quigley
Shannon Shea
Arvind Suresh
Tom Ulrich
Jill Williams
Deborah Wormser

Programs

The NASW Programs Committee steers the content of our yearly workshops, part of the annual ScienceWriters™ conference. Formerly known as the Workshops Committee, this group selects from the session proposals those that represent the best professional development and discussion opportunities for our diverse membership. The chair, who is the sitting NASW vice president, leads committee discussions on the format and flow of the annual meeting and determines how proposals will be evaluated and shared. Committee members serve for two years, with the most of the workload occurring mid-March to mid-April. Committee members are expected to thoughtful, vocal, and may occasionally be invited to help with crafting special sessions. Typically, all volunteers are accepted. In the event of an overwhelming response, the chair shall select members who represent the various professions of NASW members. Committee members can attend that year's annual meeting at the student rate.

Chair:
Jill Adams

Members:
Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato
Jimmy Brancho
Siri Carpenter
Jennifer Cox
Geoffrey Giller
Laurel Hamers
Eli Kintisch
Rachael Lallensack
Amanda Mascarelli
Michael E. Newman
Czerne Reid
Jill Sakai
Megha Satyanarayana
Dana Smith
Shawna Williams

Liaisons to other organizations

Authors Coalition

Board member Kendall Powell represents NASW and casts NASW's vote in the discussions and decisions of the organizations constituting the coalition, which generally take place during regular monthly conference calls. As liaison, she exercises this authority in consultation with the NASW officers and board. The liaison may also serve on coalition committees, for example, the Distribution Committee, which advises on policy decisions affecting disbursement of coalition funds. Beryl Benderly was the first AC liaison, having spearheaded the development of this critical relationship for NASW.