ASA Seeks New Science Policy Fellow

The ASA is accepting applications for its science policy fellowship for fall 2020. A one- to two-year position, the fellow will be based at the ASA headquarters in Alexandria, Virginia; however, they will spend the bulk of their time in Washington, DC, advocating for statistics and experiencing first-hand how federal science policy is formed.

Applications are due by March 31, but the ASA will consider particularly high-quality applications until the position is filled.

The fellowship was created to elevate the profile of statistics in policymaking and advocate on behalf of the profession. Amy Nussbaum was the ASA’s inaugural science policy fellow, and Daniel Elchert is the second and current fellow.

Recently, Elchert spearheaded the ASA’s involvement with the social media company Reddit by organizing Ask Me Anything (AMA) digital town hall events to highlight statistical perspectives on issues of the day, starting with the decennial census.

Through Capitol Hill meetings, media outreach, grassroots organizing, and coalition building, he has helped lead the ASA’s advocacy for evidence-based policymaking and championed principal federal statistical agencies such as the Economic Research Service in the United States Department of Agriculture and the National Center for Education Statistics in the Department of Education.

Elchert is also leading the ASA’s State of the US Data Infrastructure article series by interfacing with former federal statistical agency leaders to create thought pieces highlighting statistical agencies as key to our country’s capacity to make policy decisions informed by data and evidence. As part of this effort, Elchert led the creation and building of the LinkedIn group Count on Stats, a growing community of professionals with an interest and stake in the work of the federal statistical agencies.

Finally, Elchert also served as co-author of the ASA’s first survey of master’s graduates, providing insight about graduates’ degree satisfaction and related job market demands.

Nussbaum represented the ASA at meetings from the National Academies to Capitol Hill and even introduced her own member of Congress to climate scientists. Among the many projects she worked on were the documents “Guidance on Statistical Evidence in Legislation,” “Recommendations to Funding Agencies for Supporting Reproducible Research,” and “Guidance for Service on Federal Advisory Boards and Committees.” Watch a video in which Nussbaum discusses her experience to learn more.

Questions about this opportunity may be directed to ASA Director of Science Policy Steve Pierson.