Kumar Garg helped shape science and technology policy for the Obama Administration for nearly eight years, serving in a variety of roles in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). He led the Obama Administration’s efforts to bolster science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, including the Educate to Innovate campaign. As a senior leader at OSTP, Kumar supervised a team of twenty staff with portfolios ranging from biotechnology, entrepreneurship, space, advanced manufacturing, broadband, nanotechnology, behavioral sciences, the Maker Movement, digital media, prizes and broader innovation policy. He was involved in policy-development, implementation and communication of a wide range of science and technology issues, including more than twenty-five Presidential events.
Neil E. Grunberg, Ph.D., is Professor of Military & Emergency Medicine, Medical & Clinical Psychology, and Neuroscience, Uniformed Services University (USU) School of Medicine; and Director of Research & Development, USU Leader and Leadership Education and Development program, Bethesda, Maryland. He is a medical psychologist, social psychologist, and behavioral neuroscientist. Dr. Grunberg earned baccalaureate degrees in Medical Microbiology and Psychology from Stanford University (1975); M.A. (1977), M.Phil. (1979), and Ph.D. (1980) degrees in Physiological and Social Psychology from Columbia University. Dr. Grunberg educates healthcare professionals for the Armed Forces and Public Health Service and scientists for research and academic positions. His research focuses on behavioral medicine, stress, drug abuse, and leadership.
Ann Merchant has worked in marketing and communications for more than 20 years and is currently the Deputy Executive Director for Communications at the National Academies in Washington, D.C. Her work at the Academies primarily revolves around planning a variety of science communications events and managing innovative outreach programs that, together, contribute to increased public understanding of science. She was instrumental in launching the Science & Entertainment Exchange, a program of the National Academy of Sciences that seeks to connect entertainment industry professionals with top scientists and engineers.
Michael Halpern is deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He works to promote solutions that ensure government decisions are fully informed by scientific information, and that the public understands the scientific basis for those decisions. He also oversees efforts to enable scientists to more effectively engage the public. Michael blogs regularly in The Guardian and has appeared in scores of national and international media outlets, including the Associated Press, The Boston Globe, CNN, National Public Radio, NBC, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Michael holds a B.A. in sociology and communication studies from Macalester College.