Click here for biographies of the five new candidates to the ANS Board of Directors. The new board members will be elected at the ANS Annual Meeting on October 22. RSVP here:


Nancy Pielemeier - President

Dr. Nancy Pielemeier has lived and worked in Asia, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and the former Soviet Union, and Washington, DC, during her career in global health.  She has designed, implemented and evaluated research and technical assistance programs, and managed a variety of global health programs related to health financing, systems and service delivery. Nancy has worked for government, non-profit and private sector organizations and has served on numerous boards, and as a volunteer with various organizations. Nancy became a birding and wildlife enthusiast while living in Botswana and connected with Smithsonian and ANS birding opportunities back in DC. Nancy is a resident of Chevy Chase, DC and she and her family appreciate living close to ANS, Rock Creek Park, and other local nature preserves. She is interested in the intersection of public health and the environment. She received her BA from Knox College and her Masters of Health Science and Doctorate of Public Health from the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, and began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer in the state of Sabah, Malaysia.

Beth Ziebarth - Vice President

Beth Ziebarth has a personal interest and professional responsibility in advocacy for people with disabilities. She currently serves as the director of the Smithsonian’s Accessibility Program. In her position, Ms. Ziebarth develops and implements accessibility policy and guidelines for the Institution’s 19 museums, the National Zoo, and nine research centers, ensuring that the Smithsonian’s 30 million annual visitors experience a welcoming environment that accommodates individuals of all ages and abilities. Her work includes staff training on accessibility and disability topics, facility and program technical assistance, direct accessibility services, outreach and collaboration, and four signature programs for people with disabilities. Ms. Ziebarth recently served on the Woodend 2065 Council and is a member of the Playspace Advisory Group. Her favorite vacations involve museums, great food and wine experiences, and enjoying the outdoors. She lives in Arlington, VA with her husband Chris Ziebarth.

Alice Ewen - Treasurer

Alice Ewen joined the U.S. Forest Service in 2011 as Program Manager for the US Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program in Washington DC.  Her responsibilities include national partnership development and interagency initiatives. She is the national coordinator for USDA for the Urban Waters Federal Partnership and serves on the USDA Urban Agriculture Working Group. The Urban and Community Forestry Program provides technical and financial assistance to improve the sustainability and health of cities through improved natural resources management and stewardship. Alice was assigned to the White House Council on Environmental Quality from 2013-2015, serving as the Deputy Associate Director for Lands, where she was responsible for Federal policy formulation on climate and natural resources issues. Her accomplishments included the development and release of the national Climate and Natural Resources Priority Agenda and advancement of the National Drought Resilience Partnership. Other issues in her portfolio included wildfire, sage grouse, and California drought response. Previous to joining the Forest Service, Alice was Executive Director of the national nonprofit Alliance for Community Trees, a federation of state and local advocacy organizations engaged in urban forest protection and care. She previously directed GIS marketing and sales for the national nonprofit, American Forests, and began her career in urban forestry in fundraising and development for Trees Atlanta, a local nonprofit organization. She has worked on urban forestry issues at the local and national level since 1994, and was appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture to serve on the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council.  She served as a local elected official for the Town of Riverdale Park MD from 2007-2011. Originally from Atlanta, she graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has lived in the D.C. area since 1997. Alice feels a special connection to the ANS mission through the society’s work with youth and vision for the sanctuary as a regional nature education destination. She enjoys spending time on the weekend taking her three-year old son on nature walks, where their time is spent looking at the ground and finding sticks, acorns, feathers, and other treasures.

Rebecca Turner - Secretary

Becky Turner is Chief of Staff and General Counsel at American Forests, the oldest national conservation organization in the US, where she oversees the implementation of the strategic vision for the organization, provides insights on its range of programs, and offers legal guidance.  She has dedicated more than 20 years to environmental and conservation work. Prior to joining American Forests, Becky was a mediator for The Keystone Center, a nonprofit dispute resolution organization, where she resolved multiparty, multi-issue environmental and natural resource law and policy conflicts. Becky earned a Master of Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, a Juris Doctor from Vermont Law School and a Bachelor of Science in environmental conservation from the University of New Hampshire.  She is thrilled to be associated with the Audubon Naturalist Society where she can focus on local conservation efforts and on-the-ground results.

Board Members in Alphabetical Order

Susan Blaha

Susan Blaha is recently retired from Hewlett Packard Enterprise where she was Planning Manager for Worldwide Service and Support of Enterprise Servers. She brings to ANS her strengths in Strategic Planning and Organization/Coordination of people and programs and is eager to apply herself to the complex world of Nature conservation and education. Susan attends many of the ANS adult education and travel programs as well as Natural History Field Studies courses. Though her degree is in Electrical Engineering, she enjoys using scientific methods to solve problems and support other areas of research. Susan also is keen to help bring more, and diverse, audiences to nature education and science (STEM). She is a member of the James Smithson Society and Smithsonian Libraries Gilded Circle and has long supported the Nature Conservancy and Audubon Society.

James Burris

Dr. James Burris and his wife Christine have been members of the Audubon Naturalist Society for more than 40 years. Service on the ANS Board would match well with Jim’s lifelong interest in natural history and community service. Jim and Christine have enjoyed participating in ANS trips to Costa Rica and the Galapagos islands. Jim has a particular interest in Lepidoptera and pollinator habitats. He is a volunteer for the Woodend Forest Restoration Project and has been selected to serve on the ANS Development Committee. Jim is also active in Scouting, having served since 1998 as Assistant Scoutmaster of Troop 1946 in Washington DC. He is certified in Wilderness First Aid. Professionally, Dr. Burris is Clinical Professor of Medicine and Pharmacology at Georgetown University School of Medicine, where he serves on the curriculum committee. He retired in 2017 after 28 years of Federal Service as a physician with the United States Public Health Service and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Brown University, an MD from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, and completed residency training in internal medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Scott Fosler

Scott Fosler is a member of the Town Council and former mayor of the Town of Chevy Chase, where he resides. He is an owner and board member of Deschner Corporation, a manufacturing business in Orange County, California. His previous professional positions include visiting professor and senior lecturer at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, and Roger C. Lipitz Senior Fellow at the School’s Center for Public Policy and Private Enterprise; president of the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA); vice president and director of government studies of the Committee for Economic Development (CED); senior staff member of the Institute of Public Administration (IPA) of New York; and assistant director of state and local government programs for the U.S. National Commission on Productivity. Scott has been a consultant to governments, businesses, nonprofit organizations, foundations and international institutions in North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. He was elected to two terms on the County Council of Montgomery County, Maryland, where he also served as council president and president of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG). Scott previously served on the boards of the National Academy of Public Administration, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and as board chair of the National Civic League, and is currently on the boards of the Friends of Ten Mile Creek and the Montgomery Countryside Alliance. His publications include Governing the National Capital Region; Working Better Together: Achieving Public Purposes through Cross-Sector Collaboration; Demographic Change and the American Future; Public-Private Partnership in American Cities; The New Economic Role of American States; The Business Role in State Education Reform; and Urban Government for Valencia, Venezuela. Scott holds a B.A. from Dickinson College (Phi Beta Kappa) and an M.P.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University, and earned degree credits from study in Italy, Spain, and Norway.

Ryan Matney

Ryan Matney is Director of Diversifying Assets at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a non-profit organization based in Chevy Chase, Maryland that supports medical research. Ryan has spent more than 12 years there where he is responsible for overseeing a portion of HHMI’s $19 billion endowment that includes an $8 billion portfolio of hedged equity, distressed credit and real assets that span public and private investments. Earlier in his career Ryan was a strategy consultant with Bain & Company where he worked in the private equity group. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, and a Master in Business Administration from Yale University. Ryan currently serves on Audubon Naturalist Society’s Finance Committee and maintains a strong appreciation for the mission of the organization and the dedication of ANS staff. Ryan and his family have been ANS members for many years and his two children are graduates of the ANS Preschool at Woodend Sanctuary.

Hughey Newsome

Hughey Newsome developed an appreciation for nature as a child growing up in rural Southern Arkansas in the 1980s and 90s. He is currently serving as the Finance Director for the City of Pontiac Michigan, a position he took after his role as the Chief Financial Officer of the City of Flint, Michigan. While at Flint, he was responsible for overseeing all financial activities, including accounting for water-crisis related funding to support the recovery from that crisis. In that role, Hughey gained a deep appreciation for the need for Environmental Justice. Hughey has a long career in consulting and finance. He was a Senior Manager for Morgan Franklin, a Tysons Corner, Virginia based consulting firm. In addition to the numerous consulting and finance roles Hughey has held, he and his wife, Jalonne White-Newsome, launched EGE-squared (Empowering a Green Environment and Economy) in 2009, a company dedicated to consulting on sustainable practices for mid-sized companies. He is also a member of Green Leadership Trust, based in Washington, DC. He holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Arkansas. He and his family reside in Oakland County, Michigan. Despite all of Hughey’s accomplishments, the one he holds dear is graduating to become the husband of Jalonne and the father of their two daughters, Arielle and Jeannelyn. He is also very proud that he has visited every one of the lower 48 states of the USA over the past 20 years. Seeing the diverse beauty of this nation reinforced Hughey’s appreciation for nature and his desire for all communities to have that appreciation.

Abel Olivo

Abel Olivo joined Corazón Latino in 2018 as the Director of Community Outreach and Strategic Partnerships. A community activist in Prince George’s County, Maryland, Olivo adds valuable insight and perspective to grassroots, grass-tops, and other community-oriented campaigns. As a former federal lobbyist and the head of government relations for a national non-profit organization, Abel has extensive experience in developing policy and effective implementation strategies, including building partnerships to maximize message, impact, and reach. Now, Abel uses his skills to promote his love of nature, bring access to our shared green spaces, and champion the importance of a clean environment to the Latino/Spanish-speaking community. Abel served as Planning Partner for ANS’s 2019 Naturally Latinos Conference and on the ANS Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility Task Force. The first in his family to graduate from college, Abel earned his BA in Political Science from The Ohio State University. Go Bucks!

Carolyn Peirce

After a long career in education, as a teacher and administrator in independent schools in the Boston area and at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School in Washington DC, Carolyn is now retired and is an active volunteer. She serves as a member and secretary of the Smithsonian Women’s Committee, which raises funds to provide grants to Smithsonian museums and research centers; she teaches art at the Sitar Arts Center, a program for underserved children in the Adams Morgan community; she serves on the Outreach and Eco-action Committees at St. John’s Church in Chevy Chase; and she has recently completed fifteen years of volunteer service at Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington, as a case worker and in several leadership positions on the Board of Directors (President, Secretary, Chair of Development, Program, and Governance Committees). She has been a member of ANS for 28 years and enjoys participating in many local birding trips as well as ANS Nature Travel programs (Ecuador, Costa Rica, and is currently signed up for the 2017 trip to the Galapagos). Prior to moving here, she was a member of Massachusetts Audubon Society and enjoyed honing her skills as a field observer in a 2 year bird census study. Also, she and her husband created and directed the Environmental Workshops, a small summer camp program in Maine for 9-12 year olds. She earned her BS in Education from Wheelock College in Boston and her ALM at Harvard University. Her hobbies include painting and sketching birds and landscapes, bicycling, hiking, reading, and traveling. And, of course, she loves spending time with her grandchildren in Connecticut and California.

Gregg Petersen

Gregg Petersen developed an affinity for the great outdoors as a country kid growing up in Wisconsin in the 60s and 70s. In 2015 he retired from Cypress International, Incorporated after 11 years in his position as a defense communications industry consultant to over 80 companies. Prior to Cypress, Colonel Gregg Petersen had a distinguished military career in the U. S. Army Signal Corps, retiring in 2003 following 25 years of active service. Earning his Master Naturalist Volunteer qualification from Audubon Naturalist Society (ANS) in 2016, Gregg has since supported many ANS programs to include Creek Critters, Rust Watershed Adventures, Water Quality Monitoring (WQM), and Woodend Restoration. A resident of Columbia, Howard County, Maryland, Gregg also opened an ANS WQM site at the Robinson Nature Center in Columbia, MD. He additionally serves as a macroinvertebrate docent for the Robinson Nature Center and volunteers for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-sponsored annual Howard County Conservancy High School Watershed Report Card stream surveys. In the last two years, Gregg has taught environment-related classes to over 2000 students from youth to adults. Gregg holds a B.A. degree in Biology from Ripon College, Wisconsin, and an M.S. in Management Information Systems from The George Washington University. Gregg lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife and ballroom dance partner, Shirley Reddoch, M.D.

Rob Timmons

Rob Timmons has over 12 years of program management, strategic planning and client relationship experience in the software industry, working on commercial, non-profit and government contracts. He is currently a Program Manager at Pantheon, a DC-based software company managing Federal Government healthcare related programs. He has also worked with clients, including the World Wildlife Fund, Pew Charitable Trusts and Fortune 500 corporations. Rob has a BFA in Fine Arts, an MBA in Finance and is a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI). As a member and volunteer, Rob has served on the ANS Master Plan and Strategic Plan Committees. As a resident of the surrounding Woodend Sanctuary neighborhood and a local that has used nearby parks since childhood, the future of ANS is a priority. He enjoys spending time outdoors with family and friends, participating in all types of activities and exploring parks across the country. Rob volunteers at his children’s elementary school and is focused on other activism activities in the surround area.

Nancy Voit

Prior to becoming a nature educator, Nancy studied Theater Arts Management and earned a BFA degree from Ithaca College in 1986 and worked in fundraising at Center Stage and National Aquarium in Baltimore between 1986 and 1992. In addition to completing the NHFS certificate in 2015, Nancy completed the following certifications to shore up her skills as a primary educator: Master Naturalist, (UMD Cooperative Extension, 2013;) Interpretive Guide, (National Association of Interpretation, 2017;) and Early Childhood Development Educator, (Montgomery College, 2018.) Today, Nancy writes and teaches a nature class for pre-school and elementary aged children called Naturally Fun at Wesley Nursery School and Fernwood Montessori School. Nancy also volunteers regularly in the Forest Kindergartner Class here at Audubon. In her spare time, Nancy loves to bike on the C&O canal and write a nature blog called Reflections of a Nitwit ( where she muses about her adventures in nature with family and friends. Nancy lives with her husband, Eric Voit, and their three children, Bobby, Tommy and Anna in Bethesda, MD.

Laurence D. Wiseman

Larry is a Fellow at the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability as well as the Owner/Principal of CenterLine Strategy, an independent consultancy offering strategic planning, program assessment and development, communications, and public affairs to government, non-profit and corporate clients. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor for the Sustainable Urban Forests Coalition and was the Founding President and CEO of the American Forest Foundation from 1993-2009. Larry has a B.A. in Government from Dartmouth College and a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University. Having walked the woods in all 50 states, one Commonwealth, one Territory and a few foreign countries, Larry is delighted, at last, to be involved with ANS -- just a few miles from his childhood home.

Diane Wood

Diane Wood recently retired from a career in environmental education and conservation in the US and overseas. For 13 years Ms. Wood was the President and CEO of the National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF). While at NEEF, Ms. Wood developed a passion for engaging new audiences in environmental education and especially enjoyed linking sports fans to energy conservation in partnership with the National Basketball Association. Prior to NEEF, she was the Executive Director of the Center for a New American Dream, a non-profit committed to helping Americans consume more responsibly. Ms. Wood spent 17 years working for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where she held various leadership positions including Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean and Vice President for Research and Development. Ms. Wood earned an M.S. in Environmental Education and Natural Resources Conservation from Cornell University. She has traveled extensively and served for three and a half years as a Peace Corps Volunteer developing environmental education programs in Paraguay. Diane is a long-time member of the Audubon Naturalist Society and has wonderful memories of many nature walks on the grounds with her now grown daughters when they were younger. She looks forward to carrying on the tradition with her three-year-old granddaughter. Diane and her husband live in Washington DC and enjoy any opportunity to spend time in nature.