Erika Rissi - Chief Evaluation Officer and Evaluation and Assessment Capability Section Head

Credit: E.Rissi 

Talk to me about

  • Merit Review studies, reports, and pilots.
  • PI and reviewer customer experience surveys.
  • NSF’s Learning Agenda and annual evaluation plan.
  • Integrating strategy, planning, and measurement.


Ms. Erika Rissi is the Chief Evaluation Officer and Evaluation and Assessment Capability Section Head at NSF where she leads policy analyses to study and develop evidence-based recommendations for enhancing the NSF merit review process. She is also responsible for development of the agency’s learning agenda and annual evaluation plan, ensuring that evidence-building activities are focused on the most pressing questions to help NSF advance its mission.

Rissi has held numerous positions at NSF that brought together her experience in strategy design, strategy execution, and operations. She oversaw the strategy for modernizing NSF's legacy proposal and award management processes and systems and was the business lead for She designed and led a process for creating an agency reform plan, "Renewing NSF," that incorporated ideas generated through agency-wide brainstorming sessions. And she developed surveys administered to 100,000 NSF customers to measure satisfaction, identify end-user critical IT needs, and evaluate changes to NSF’s process for the merit review of proposals.

Prior to joining NSF, Rissi held positions as a strategy management consultant with firms focused on public sector clients, including Grant Thornton, SRA International, and Touchstone Consulting Group, where she advised C-level executives on grants management and policy, human capital, financial management, and agency management and operations. She earned a bachelor's degree in music from Yale University.



Greg Anderson - Senior Advisor for Strategy and Evaluation

Photo of Greg Anderson
Credit: G.Anderson 

Talk to me about

  • Merit review process and policies.
  • Interdisciplinary and convergence science program design and oversight.
  • Advisory, oversight, and governance boards and committees.


Dr. Greg Anderson is senior advisor for strategy and evaluation at NSF. Since joining NSF in 2009, he has served in multiple roles, leveraging his expertise in multidisciplinary Earth science, major facility oversight and planning, and managing complex scientific programs.

Anderson has been responsible for multidisciplinary and convergence research programs; overseen two of NSF’s major facilities and one independent center; participated in multiple agency-wide groups focused on NSF’s merit review process, workforce, and facilities oversight; and has been a member of interagency groups on natural hazards, Earth-observing satellite needs, and Arctic sciences. He served for three years as co-Executive Secretary for the National Science Board Subcommittee on Facilities and Committee on Awards and Facilities and 18 months as Section Head for Integrated Activities in the Division of Earth Sciences. More recently, Anderson co-led a cross-NSF group that developed a decision support tool to assist agency staff and leadership in choosing an appropriate funding model for complex cross-organizational activities. He currently represents NSF as co-chair of the steering committee for the Interagency Arctic Research Policy Committee’s 2023-2025 Biennial Implementation Plan. Prior to joining NSF, he held positions at the University of California, San Diego, U.S. Geological Survey, UNAVCO, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich. He has a doctorate in Earth sciences from the University of California, San Diego.

Christopher Monk - Portfolio Manager

Credit: C.Monk 


Mr. Christopher Monk is the portfolio manager for EAC, where he monitors portfolio progress and performance and promotes EAC’s organizational planning and goals. Prior to joining EAC in 2022, Monk worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), where he was the oversight operations lead for the ONC Health IT Certification Program. He also worked previously as an NSF science assistant for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and as a clinical project manager for safety net clinics in Northern Virginia. Monk earned his master's in biomedical sciences jointly from George Mason University and Georgetown University.

Papia Paul - Evaluation and Monitoring Systems Lead

Credit: P. Paul

Talk to me about

  • EAC-managed data sources
  • Data collection and management
  • Data-informed decision making


Ms. Papia Paul is the lead for evaluation and monitoring systems, responsible for EAC’s suite of systems, dashboards, and tools used for collecting data, monitoring program outcomes, and understanding NSF’s portfolio. Prior to NSF, she worked at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) overseeing several initiatives aimed at advancing the exchange of health information, as well as improving the research data infrastructure. She has also held positions at NORC at the University of Chicago and PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where she focused on health services research and data analytics to inform policy and practice. She has a master’s in social policy and a master’s in public administration from the University of Pennsylvania.

M. Taylor Rhodes - Evaluator

Credit: T.Rhodes 

Talk to me about

  • Econometric methods.
  • Theories of change / logic models.
  • Data management.


Dr. M. Taylor Rhodes is an evaluator at NSF. He has extensive experience in the areas of program evaluation, research and data analytics, and econometric methods. At NSF, Rhodes is a technical representative for research efforts, performs quality assurance reviews, and examines technical skills and training interests. He has held previous federal positions at the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Treasury, and U.S. Department of Agriculture and academic positions at Oregon State University, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, College of Coastal Georgia, Lawrence University, and Bennett College. Rhodes has a doctorate in economics from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and his research has been published in World Nutrition, Public Health Nutrition, Food Protection Trends, and American Economist.

Cecilia Speroni - Evaluator

Credit: C.Speroni 

Talk to me about

  • NSF’s Education and Training Application (ETAP).
  • NSF’s STEM workforce / human capital development programs.
  • Broadening participation.
  • Rigorous evaluation designs, such as experimental and well-matched quasi-experimental designs.


Dr. Cecilia Speroni is an evaluator at NSF and a research affiliate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. At NSF, she suports various evidence-building activities, including leading the development and pilot testing of a data collection system designed to support NSF's human capital development programs. 

Prior to NSF, Speroni was a senior researcher at the company Mathematica for 10 years, where she designed and led large-scale impact evaluations in K-12 and higher education for federal agencies, state government agencies, and foundations. She also served as the deputy director of STEM research, where she helped manage the research portfolio. Prior to her tenure at Mathematica, she worked at the American Institutes for Research and the Community College Research Center on a wide range of education policy topics, including the high school-to-college transition, bilingual education and adequacy, and equity in education financing.

Speroni's evaluations of human capital development include approaches to connect workers with training opportunities, high school curricula to improve college access, and college summer enrichment programs for minority students to diversify the workforce in health and science fields. She is a certified reviewer of the Institute of Education Sciences’ "Find What Works" clearinghouse to assess the quality of empirical studies, and her research has been published in top peer-reviewed journals such as American Economic Review (Papers and Proceedings), Journal of Labor Economics, and Labour Economics.

Speroni earned her doctorate with distinction from Columbia University in economics and education.

Ryan Zelnio - Data and Analytics Officer (Acting)

Headshot of Ryan Zelnio
Credit: R. Zelnio

Talk to me about

  • S&T Metrics
  • Machine Learning
  • S&T Ontologies


Dr. Ryan Zelnio is EAC’s Data Analytics Officer (acting) and leads the development of a vision and strategy for enterprise-wide analytics that will guide NSF investment decisions in analytic solutions and tools for portfolio analysis and decision support. He also serves as the Data Analytics Officer in the Directorate of Engineering where he provides leadership to harness data analytics to support decision making within the directorate and throughout NSF. He came to NSF after spending 13 years supporting the Department of Defense and Navy in developing novel data analytic techniques to understand global science and technology trends to support decision making. During this time, he rose from a computational social scientists working at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division to working for Office of Naval Research (ONR) Global as an International Programs Officer to Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Research & Engineering) as the Director of Tech Watch and Horizon Scanning to serving as ONR’s first ever Chief Analytics Officer. Prior to his career in government, he also worked at the National Academies and as a software engineer in the financial, automotive, and aerospace industries. He has a doctorate in Public Policy from George Mason University, a master’s degree in Space Studies from University of North Dakota, and a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from Marycrest International University.