Education & Workforce/ Naval STEM Team

Michael Simpson, D. Env. – Director of Education and Workforce

Dr. Michael Simpson is the director of Education and Workforce (E & W) in the Office of Naval Research (ONR). Dr. Simpson coordinates E & W/ Naval STEM efforts with other components of the Department of Defense, other entities of the Federal Government, and with members of the private, nonprofit, and academic sectors. Dr. Simpson began his STEM policy work on Capitol Hill in 1981 when he was selected as the American Association for the Advancement of Science/ CRS Science Fellow for that year.

Dr. Simpson has chaired the STEM Council of Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), where he focused corporate and customer attention to the workforce and community benefits and responsibilities of corporate commitments to STEM outreach, education, and worker development. He also co-chaired CSC’s Diversity Council, functionally linking STEM and diversity workforce development and results. Dr. Simpson received his Artis Baccalaureate in Biological Sciences from UC Berkeley, Master of Science in Biological Sciences from USF, Master of Science in Energy and Resources from UC Berkeley, and his Doctorate of Environment Sciences and Engineering degree from UCLA.

Jason Feser, PhD. – Senior Systems Analyst

Dr. Feser is a senior systems analyst / contract support (Accelerated Development & Support Corporation) the Director of Education and Workforce at the Office of Naval Research (ONR).  He supports the development and execution of the ONR STEM Education and Workforce Grants Program which sponsors awards that help STEM education communities improve STEM education and align institutions with naval S&T communities.  He also supports the Naval STEM Coordination Office.

Prior to his work at ONR, Dr. Feser previously was an American Association for the Advancement of Science & Technology Policy Fellow at the National Science Foundation. As a fellow, he worked with the Education and Human Resources Directorate supporting programs to improve undergraduate STEM education, create systemic change within institutions of higher education, and incorporate 21st century skills into curricula and providing students’ opportunities to explore entrepreneurship within STEM.  He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and a bachelor’s degree from the North Dakota State University.

Dan Burden, PhD. – Program Analyst

Dr. Burden is a program analyst / contract support (Greystones Group) for the Director of Education & Workforce at the Office of Naval Research. Dan serves as the data and outreach coordinator, where he compiles and analyzes metrics reported from the Naval STEM Community, and coordinates Navy participation in national Department of Defense STEM outreach events.

Dan brings a wide range of experiences to his role, having spent time as a science student, educator and researcher. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry at the University of Maryland-College Park, a PhD in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and spent a postdoctoral fellowship at the Naval Research Laboratory. Dan then went on to teach high school and college chemistry at Thomas Jefferson High School and Northern Virginia Community College before joining the Office of Naval Research.

Layvon Washington, MPA – Program Analyst

Layvon is a program analyst/ contract support (Accelerated Development & Support Corporation), in the Education & Workforce/Naval STEM Division at the Office of Naval Research. Layvon serves as the Communications Liaison. In this capacity, he is responsible for all internal and external stakeholder communications, as it relates to Naval STEM. Layvon is also the managing editor for all E & W/Naval STEM Coordination Office publications. He also coordinates Education & Workforce/Naval STEM events and workshops, and assists in the compiling and analyzing of internal Naval STEM data.

Prior to joining the Office of Naval Research, Layvon worked at Edison Electric Institute in the Cyber and Infrastructure Security department where he managed the Cyber Mutual Assistance Program for over 100 utility companies. Layvon’s passion for STEM education branches from his time teaching 3rd grade Math and Science in Washington, DC. During this time, he was responsible for coordinating major STEM events. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree from Siena College, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University.