Current Committee Members

  • Andrew Pais (2024), Chair
  • Ash Gill, Graduate Student Representative (2025)
  • Travis Marsico (2025)
  • Taylor AuBuchon-Elder (2026)
  • Andrea Kornbluh (2026)
  • Naomi Fraga (2026)
  • Heather Cacanindin, Executive Director, ex officio

Public Policy Committee

About the Committee

This committee addresses issues of public policy to effect change, educate and influence decision makers and provides input from the BSA perspective on public policy documents, strategic plan documents from federal agencies, and reports requesting input from plant biologists. The committee works closely with numerous societies including the American Society of Plant Taxonomy (ASPT) and American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). Each year, new members join the committee as the same number of members rotates off. This committee is chaired by a member volunteering to serve as Chair.


This committee has one student as part of its composition. A student representative on this committee would attend committee meetings, vote on candidates for awards (BSA Public Policy Award, Botany Advocacy Leadership Grant), respond to information related to sign-on letters, and provide feedback on policy documents in development.

Member Criteria

Committee membership is open to all BSA membership categories. Committee members are expected to participate and be engaged in committee activities and have a genuine interest in the mission of the committee. This committee encourages past winners of the Public Policy Award and the Botanical Advocacy Leadership Grant to get involved with the committee.

Time Commitment

The Public Policy Committee meets at least quarterly (ideally every other month), as well as during the annual Botany conference. Members serve three-year terms, except for student members whose terms are for two years.

Interested in Applying?

Those interested in being considered for committee service should complete a short application (200 words or less) that includes a statement of interest highlighting your expertise, experience, and interest in serving on this particular committee. Applications are accepted December 1 – February 1 and will be reviewed by the Committee on Committees. Committee appointments are typically made in May to begin in July. Questions about committee membership? Send an email to

To apply to be on this committee, click here and sign in with your BotanyID and password. Only committees that have openings will appear on the BSA Committee Application website. Once you open an application, you should see the blue button "Create New Committee Application." If you do not see the blue button, or need other assistance, email

Click here to return to the main Committee and Committee Officers page.