Dr. Nafeesa Owens

Dr. Nafeesa Owens is currently the assistant director for STEM education and workforce at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). At OSTP, she leads interagency efforts across the Federal gov't focused on STEM learners and educators, STEM workforce recruitment and training, inclusive learning and working environments, and research and innovation capacity building. At OSTP, she guides the work of the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on STEM (formally the Committee on STEM Education) as well as its subcommittee and interagency working groups. Dr. Owens is currently on loan to OSTP from the National Science Foundation (NSF), where she served as a program director for many years and is a senior advisor within the Directorate for STEM Education. Dr. Owens has also worked outside of government, most notably directing STEM programming at UC Santa Cruz and supporting HBCU and MSI capacity building while at the non-profit, Quality Education for Minorities (QEM) Network under the late Dr. Shirley McBay. Dr. Owens received her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Xavier University of Louisiana; her doctorate in developmental/molecular biology and teratology from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia; and more recently, her master’s in leadership and policy from Washington University's Olin Business School and the Brookings Institution of Washington, DC.