Senior Program Officer
STEM and Higher Education
Ashley Bear is a Senior Program Officer with the Board on Higher Education and Workforce at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Before coming to the Academies, Dr. Bear was a Presidential Management Fellow with the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Division of Biological Infrastructure in the Directorate for Biological Sciences, where she managed a portfolio of mid-scale investments in scientific infrastructure and led analyses of the impact of NSF funding on the career trajectories of postdoctoral researchers. During her fellowship years, Dr. Bear also worked as a Science Policy Officer for the State Department’s Office of the Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, where she worked to promote science diplomacy and track emerging scientific trends with implications for foreign policy, managed programs to increase the scientific capacity of State Department, and acted as the liaison to the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs and the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs.
Dr. Bear holds a Sc.B. in Neuroscience from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University. While working on her doctoral research on the developmental basis of courtship behavior in butterflies, Dr. Bear co-founded the Evolution Outreach Group, a volunteer organization composed of students and postdoctoral researchers that visit schools, museums, and camps in the greater New Haven, CT area to teach K-12 students about evolution through hands-on activities and demonstrations. Dr. Bear is passionate about science outreach to the public and about promoting diversity and inclusion in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).