Meet the Co-Chairs of the ESEP Coalition
Erin Heath is the Associate Director of Government Relations at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world’s largest general scientific society and publisher of the journal Science. She has worked at AAAS since 2006. The Office of Government Relations provides timely, objective information on science and technology issues to lawmakers, and it assists scientists in understanding and getting involved in the policy process. Erin handles a range of policy issues of interest to the scientific community and is heavily involved in efforts to empower scientists and engineers to engage with policymakers, the media and the public. She co-chairs the Coalition for National Science Funding, the Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy Coalition, and the steering committee of the Golden Goose Award. Before joining AAAS, Erin worked for the American Institute of Biological Sciences, where she led the organization’s media training and outreach efforts and cut her teeth on science policy. Erin holds a Master of Science with Merit in Public Policy and Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science. While in London, she served as a research assistant in Parliament. Prior to graduate school, she spent years as a journalist in Washington, most notably as a science policy reporter and columnist for the National Journal. She earned a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Maryland. In 2017, Erin was awarded the AAAS Champion Award, given to an individual who has "championed" the mission of AAAS with a positive attitude and has inspired and motivated others to embrace and fulfill the AAAS vision. Follow Erin and AAAS Government Relations on Twitter.
Tobin (Toby) Smith is Vice President for Policy at the Association for American Universities (AAU), a Washington-based organization comprised of 62 leading research universities. He oversees and coordinates policy and policy analysis activities for the organization. Among his specific areas of responsibility are issues relating to science and innovation policy; academic research; regulation, compliance and research costs; technology transfer; and openness and security. Toby also oversees AAU’s Undergraduate STEM Education Initiative. Prior to joining AAU in January 2003, Toby worked as a federal relations representative in the Washington D.C. Offices of the University of Michigan (1999-2002) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1992-1999). He began his Washington career on Capitol Hill as a legislative assistant to Congressman Bob Traxler (D-Michigan). Toby has written and spoken widely on science policy and funding issues. He is the co-author a book on national science policy published in 2008 by the University of Michigan Press titled, Beyond Sputnik – U.S. Science Policy in the 21st Century. He is a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine Roundtable on the Communication and Use of Social and Behavioral Sciences and serves on the Advisory Board to the National Alliance for Broader Impacts (NABI). He is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Toby holds a master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree from the University of Michigan. Follow Toby and the AAU on Twitter.