NASW officers, executive board, and key people

Elections occur in even years, prior to the fall annual meeting. We update the Candidate Information page in January of an election year, but you can read it anytime for information on the basic process.


Cassandra Willyard, president


Cassandra has been a freelance science journalist for more than a decade, writing for the New York Times, Nature, Popular Science, Scientific American, Discover, and numerous other publications. All of us have benefited from Cassandra's contributions these past two years: as NASW vice president and chair of the NASW Programs Committee, she led the session proposals review and program slate selection for our ScienceWriters2021 and ScienceWriters2022 annual meetings.

First elected to the board in 2018

Sandeep Ravindran, vice president


A freelance science journalist with bylines in New York Times, TIME, Smithsonian, National Geographic News, Nature, WIRED, and other outlets, Sandeep is now serving his third term on the NASW board, having served as NASW treasurer for the past two years and NASW secretary before that. Additionally, Sandeep has helped organize the Power Pitch and Pitch Fest events at several NASW annual meetings — and as VP, he will assume the role of Programs Committee chair to curate ScienceWriters2023 and ScienceWriters2024.

First elected to the board in 2018

Jyoti Madhusoodanan, secretary

Independent journalist and AHCJ Civic Science Fellow @smjyoti

Covering the life sciences, health, ethics and equity for Scientific American, Nature, Undark, Chemical & Engineering News, and other outlets, Jyoti was first elected to the NASW board in 2020. She recently concluded five years as co-chair of the NASW Awards Committee, overseeing our journalism awards and our institutional writing awards. Jyoti’s volunteering also extends to the Ethics Committee and Education Committee, as well as co-organizing the 2022 Source Diversity Tracking Workshop.

First elected to the board in 2020

Shraddha Chakradhar, treasurer

Deputy news editor, Science @scchak

With past career stops at STAT and the Nieman Journalism Lab, Shraddha is now entering her second term on the NASW board. You’ve seen Shraddha’s past contributions as a past co-chair of the NASW Diversity Committee — and in co-organizing the ScienceWriters2020 plenary session exploring best practices towards more diverse and equitable science writing. As Treasurer, Shraddha now leads the NASW Finance and Audit Committee, which is currently seeking new volunteer members!

First elected to the board in 2020

Board members-at-large

Marla Broadfoot

Freelance and contributing editor for American Scientist

Marla’s work has appeared in Scientific American, Science, STAT, The Scientist, Discover, Nature News, and Science News, among others. Marla recently concluded five years leading the Science Communicators of North Carolina regional group, where she also served on the planning team to help bring ScienceWriters2012 to North Carolina. Marla’s familiarity with NASW extends towards our Peggy Girshman Idea Grants as a past recipient; Awards Committee as a past judge; and our annual meetings as a session organizer.

First elected to the board in 2022

Kat Eschner

Affordability reporter for TVO (Canada)

Like many other NASW members, Kat’s first exposure to NASW came at a conference — for her it was the WCSJ 2017 in San Francisco. Since then, Kat has been active in NASW by co-organizing a ScienceWriters2019 session on data security and by volunteering with the Virtual Mentoring Program. Another first-time board member, Kat credits NASW for her continued career in journalism, singing praise for NASW’s professional development opportunities — and a feeling of community and belonging with colleagues both near and far!

First elected to the board in 2022

Ana Gorelova

Media relations manager for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Ana first came across NASW as an international student whilst pursuing her doctoral research. Ana credits that first ScienceWriters conference as her “finding your people” moment, and her career has taken her to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch as a journalism intern; then co-founding the Appalachian Science Communicators regional group, and now as a PIO with her graduate alma mater. Encouraging early career and immigrant writers will be among Ana’s passions as she leads NASW.

First elected to the board in 2022

Amanda Heidt

Freelance @Scatter_Cushion

Amanda attended her first NASW Internship Fair in 2020 in Seattle, which led to an internship with The Scientist and eventually a staff reporter position. She recently was promoted to an editor role with her magazine — and now she’ll also help lead NASW as a first-time board member! Bringing her professional perspectives as a past staff writer, PIO, and freelancer, Amanda is eager to pay forward the mentoring and career development opportunities that she herself benefited from through her NASW membership.

First elected to the board in 2022

Jane Hu


Writing and editing at publications like High Country News and Slate, Jane is now entering her second term on the NASW board. She credits NASW resources like Words Worth, the compensation surveys, online events and our annual meetings as invaluable assists in developing her career. Jane brings past perspectives from journalism, institutional outreach, and science communication course instruction to her board service, steering our organization’s role in service to our professional peers, the public, and society.

First elected to the board in 2020

Tyler Jones

Program Coordinator, Boston University SciCommers

Tyler joined NASW as a student member in 2019, the same semester she decided to leave academia and carve a career in science communication and science journalism. Her impact on the broader community has been evident, co-organizing the 2020 and 2021 iterations of Black Birders Week, and now curating career transition resources as the Program Assistant for the SciCommers at Boston University (formerly NPR Scicommers).

First elected to the board in 2022

Marilynn Marchione

Chief medical writer (retired), the Associated Press

Bringing 17 years of experience with AP plus past careers with large urban newspapers and a university news service, Marilynn now continues her NASW board service for a second term, as well as her work on the NASW Finance Committee. Marily writes: “I've had a long and good career, and I hope to help others working in a challenging media environment now.” Look for Marilynn’s many past contributions over the history of our ScienceWriters annual meetings — as well as her continued role steering NASW’s finances, partnerships, and collaborations!

First elected to the board in 2020

Rodrigo Pérez Ortega

Staff writer for Science

Rodrigo has deep experience with NASW’s professional programming. He is concluding his three-year stint as co-chair of the NASW Diversity Committee, where he has shepherded the NASW Diversity Summer Fellowship — of which he is a past recipient — and the more recently launched Diversity Reporting Grants serving freelance creatives. From his home base in Mexico City, Rodrigo also helped launch our first-ever Mid-Career Mentoring Program this year via our NASW Journalism Committee.

First elected to the board in 2020

Matt Shipman

Research communications lead, North Carolina State University

Matt has worked as a staff reporter, freelance reporter, editor, blogger, and written a handbook for research PIOs. Matt has brought these many perspectives to NASW board deliberations over these many years — and he is excited to continue guiding NASW in our continued role serving our colleagues and our broader community.

First elected to the board in 2016

Ramin Skibba

Space writer, WIRED

Before joining WIRED in 2022, Ramin freelanced for five years for a variety of outlets including Scientific American, Slate, the Atlantic, Nature, and Undark. Volunteering with NASW, Ramin has served on the Freelance Committee and Diversity Committee, focusing on freelancer grievances, the impacts of labor laws on freelancers, and the struggles of caregivers and parents who work as science writers. Continuing on his second term on the NASW board, Ramin also brings past experience running the San Diego Science Writers Association.

First elected to the board in 2020

Kelly Tyrrell

Director of media relations and strategic communications for the University of Wisconsin-Madison

When Kelly attended her first NASW meeting in 2013, she had just begun freelancing, having been laid off from a staff newspaper job. Her story is by now a familiar one: NASW became Kelly’s career community, and she has been keen to give back ever since. Another first-time board member, Kelly has already served on the NASW Diversity Committee, as co-chair of the PIO Committee, co-organizing the ScienceWriters2019 plenary; and mentoring student members through Education Committee programming. Among other interests, Kelly is excited to help bridge our journalism community and our PIO community towards common goals.

First elected to the board in 2022

Other key NASW people

Tinsley Davis, executive director

Tinsley Davis has led the National Association of Science Writers as executive director since 2008. As the sole staff member, she manages all aspects of the 2,200+ membership organization’s programs, projects, and grants and supports the leadership of the volunteer board of directors. Tinsley represents NASW’s interest in a variety of collaborative efforts, including the Authors Coalition, where she was Finance Committee chair from 2018-2020, and the Societies Consortium on Sexual Harassment in STEMM and is a member of the emerging LISTEN network for leaders in science engagement. Tinsley has organized the annual NASW workshops since 2005, when she took on the role as a freelance side hustle, and brokered the development of the first ScienceWriters meeting in 2006. Under her leadership, this annual joint conference with the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing has grown steadily, bringing together 500 to 800 science writers together each year for professional development sessions, science briefings, and field trips. Tinsley leads NASW’s presence in the international community and recently co-organized the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco, which attracted 1,200 international science journalists and communicators. Previously, Tinsley worked at the Gordon Current Science & Technology Center at the Museum of Science in Boston on novel methods to engage adult audiences with science news. A former microbiologist with an M.S. in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tinsley is an alum of Swarthmore College and spends those elusive hours of free time galloping cross country and competing in eventing.

Ben Young Landis, assistant executive director

Ben Young Landis began as assistant director of the National Association of Science Writers in May 2022, becoming the organization’s second staff member. Supporting executive director Tinsley Davis, Ben’s portfolio focuses on NASW’s member communication channels, spanning our print magazine, email newsletter, social media accounts, news releases, and other digital content, as well as NASW’s growing slate of virtual events. Additionally, Ben is charged with assessing, managing, and innovating NASW’s ongoing organizational support for our many volunteer committees — whose energy and dedication truly create the contact points and hands-on benefits that so many science writers enjoy. As Ben grows into his role staffing Tinsley and the NASW board, he’ll draw on his seasoned experience as an independent consultant providing creative strategy, design, training, and facilitation services to clients from across academia, nonprofits, state government, industry, and small businesses. Prior to consulting, Ben worked as a science communication specialist with the U.S. Department of Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey; an editorial assistant with North Carolina Sea Grant; and a newsroom intern with the Orange County Register. He holds a Master of Environmental Management degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, along with his B.A. in Evolution and Ecology with a Minor in Education from the University of California, Davis. As the NASW work rhythm settles into its seasons, Ben looks forward to rekindling his fondness for the aquarium fish hobby and continuing his years-long streak of weekly fish art.

Russell Clemings, cybrarian
A'ndrea Elyse Messer, assistant cybrarian

The cybrarian is NASW's Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) agent.

Office Address
National Association of Science Writers, Inc.
P.O. Box 7905
Berkeley, CA 94707
Phone: (510) 859-7229

NASW is an equal opportunity employer. View our Equal Employment Opportunity and Harassment Policy.

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