As the nation's primary supporter for research in the physical sciences, the DOE Office of Science (SC) has an unparalleled opportunity - and responsibility - to generate awareness, understanding, and support for scientific discovery and basic energy research. SC's Office of Communications and Public Affairs is charged with providing strategic counsel and tactical support for:

  • Message iteration and refinement: We articulate and disseminate enterprise-level messages about basic research for use by SC and DOE leadership and stakeholders.
  • Content identification and generation: We systematically identify opportunities to develop new content and share existing content about SC's research portfolio.
  • Media placement and amplification: We help media outlets understand and report SC-sponsored basic research.
  • Public engagement and participation: We identify SC's key publics and understand their information-seeking behaviors in order to keep them informed about our work.
  • Environmental scanning: We regularly monitor media, legislative, and stakeholder communications to advise senior office and agency officials about emerging news and public affairs issues and concerns.

General Inquiries

Twitter: @doescience

Director (Acting)

Allison Eckhardt
Phone: 202-287-6990

Allison is the acting director of the Office for Communications and Public Affairs. Allison also leads OCPA's outreach and media team to identify Office of Science research stories and engage interested audiences through multiple platforms. She also works with the media to facilitate stories, and with senior program and scientific staff to prepare for interview opportunities. She also monitors news and trade publications for issues and stories of interest to the Office of Science, and works with the national laboratories under SC stewardship on honing pitches to national media.

Project Manager, Stakeholder Outreach

Kate Bannan (Contractor)
Phone: 202-586-7814

As a project manager for stakeholder outreach, Kate is responsible for developing and implementing strategic communications and outreach programs for the office's external stakeholders, with an emphasis on universities.

Communications Specialist

Michael Church (Contractor)
Phone: 202-586-6710

Michael leads the editorial process for the Office of Science research highlights—short summaries of significant scientific discoveries. Working closely with the program managers, he reviews content, tracks progress, and promotes the highlights. As a member of the communications team, he helps to identify, write, and edit original material designed to engage and inform Office of Science stakeholders, including the public. Michael's original material includes the DOE Explains pages, a series of concise, easy to read explanations of key scientific terms associated with Office of Science-funded research.

Media Outreach Manager

Nathan Clark
Phone: 202-430-8706

Nathan is responsible for building and expanding regional, local, and hyper local media interest in the Office of Science’s science programs. He manages several of the office's media outreach platforms and monitors the effectiveness and engagement with the Office of Science news. He also coordinates the external publicity for the National Science Bowl with  regional and state media and congressional leaders.

Virtual Events Manager

Adrian Gaskin Hill (Contractor)

Adrian is responsible for the end-to-end delivery, customer experience, and production of webinars and hybrid events from a technical standpoint. He collaborates with leadership, support, and technical staff to supervise and provide an overall direction for the Virtual Events program.

Media and Outreach Specialist

Cassie Hill (Contractor)

Cassie is the communications liaison for the 10 Office of Science national laboratories. In this role, Cassie manages and tracks information, news releases and stories from our labs and partners.

Speechwriter and Content Creator

Karyn Houston

Karyn is a speechwriter working on multiple projects on various platforms to inform others about the strategic mission of the Office of Science. As part of the editorial team, she also manages and contributes to special projects designed to educate and inform the public. Karyn is currently assigned to the Office of Science on a temporary basis and comes to us from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Communications Specialist

Sandra Allen McLean
Phone: 202-586-4344

Sandra is responsible for identifying, curating, or creating lay-language content about Office of Science-funded research for DOE web sites, popular and trade media, and stakeholder education. She develops for public use narratives on research, especially R&D conducted jointly between labs or between labs and other research partners, or using the Office of Science user facilities. She also serves as liaison to program specialty areas.

Communications Specialist

Ashleigh Papp
Phone: tbd

Ashleigh helps to tell the stories of science across the many communication channels that our audience use to consume information. From written articles to podcasts and multimedia, she works cross functionally to develop new stories that highlight the people and the collaborative spirit of DOE-funded scientific research.

Web Communications Specialist

Dean Pettersson (Contractor)
Phone: 202-287-6991

Dean manages and maintains the Office of Science website. As part of the editorial team, he ensures that the content on those communications channels is refreshed regularly, and conducts frequent environmental scans in order to find articles and technologies that can be amplified and featured. Dean also gathers and analyzes site metrics, creating regular web reports and making recommendations for optimizing site usage based on those results. Finally, Dean serves as the first point of contact for website visitors, responding to emailed questions and/or redirecting them to appropriate parties.

Project Manager, Public Engagement

Keegan Sawyer (Contractor)
Phone: 919-824-3809

Keegan coordinates the Science Public Engagement Partnership, a collaboration between the Department of Energy, Office of Science and the Kavli Foundation to deepen the understanding of effective public engagement around basic research, explore how to improve this practice, and provide tools for scientists and communications professionals who support them. She is also responsible for developing and implementing a federal science public engagement community of practice.

Project Manager, Social Media

Shannon Brescher Shea
Phone: 202-586-6044

Shannon leads OCPA's content team to find and tell unique stories about the Office of Science's research. These stories, which span multiple laboratories or disciplines, provide science stakeholders with a broad understanding of the Office's mission and accomplishments. After writing or editing these pieces, she collaborates with the outreach team to strategically publicize them through traditional and new media outlets. She also leads the community of practice for the national laboratories' science communicators, the Science Public Outreach Community (SPOC).

Internal Communications Manager

Natalie Soldan (Contractor)
Phone: 202-287-5813

Natalie coordinates the Office of Science internal communications portfolio. She is responsible for planning, developing, and providing guidance for internal messaging. Natalie makes sure the Office of Science stays up to date on the information coming from internal and external sources. Natalie manages the Office of Science GovDelivery subscription, an avenue for outreach to external stakeholders and the public.

Project Manager, Science Communications

Roxanne Fournier Stone
Phone: 301-903-1892