Iris R. Wagstaff
AAAS STEM Program Director
Dr. Iris R. Wagstaff is a scientist, educator, mentor, researcher and STEM advocate. She currently serves as a STEM Program Director in the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Department of AAAS where she manages programs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels focused on broadening participation in STEM and workforce development. She served as a 2015-2017 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the DOJ National Institute of Justice Office where she led an agency-wide diversity and inclusion initiative. She is a native of Goldsboro, NC with a BS and MS in Chemistry from UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T State Universities respectively; and a PhD in Science Education from North Carolina State University. She worked as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company for 15 years where she led analytical project teams and company-wide diversity initiatives. She has over 20 years of STEM outreach and advocacy developing informal science programs, mentoring, resourcing parents, coaching K-12 science teachers, and building strategic partnerships between industry, academia, and community organizations.
Iris is also a social scientist with a research focus on examining factors that predict science self-efficacy, science identity, and STEM career intent.She serves on the Boards of several organizations that include the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE), the Chemical Society of Washington (CSW), and Science, Engineering, and Math Links (SEM). She also serves as an adjunct chemistry professor at UNC-Greensboro. She has received several honors that include the 2017 Women of Color in STEM K-12 Promotion of Education Award, the 2018 NOBCChE Presidential Award for Mentoring, and the 2019 BEYA Science Trailblazer Award
Project Director, DEI, AAAS
Neela White is a Project Director at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She currently works on programs including the AAAS-Lemelson Invention Ambassador Program, the AAAS Marion Milligan-Mason Awards for Women in the Chemical Sciences, and the Measuring the Impact of Making and Innovation at HBCU program. She has served as an external evaluator for multiple projects including the NSF INCLUDES Early STEM Engagement for Minority Males (eSEM) project and the Verizon Innovative Learning Summer Program for Minority Males at Morgan State University. She has also served as a Program Associate for the AAAS District of Columbia program. Her areas of focus have been within the sectors of invention; innovation; entrepreneurship; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education; Maker movement; international research collaboration; and diversity, equity and inclusion in science.
Prior to AAAS, she worked at the Brookings Institute as the Administrator for the Center on Social and Economic Dynamics. She also served as the Public Affairs Manager and Board Liaison for the Center for
Excellence in Education. Ms. White earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from Temple University in 2003.