Officers and Staff

On this page you will find our APPAM Leadership, APPAM Staff and the APPAM Leadership Blog below.



Immediate Past President

Vice Presidents


  • Sanya Carley, Indiana University, serves through 2020 


  •  Laura Peck, Abt Associates, serves through 2021

Chair, Committee of Institutional Representatives

JPAM Editor

Past Presidents

The Journal of Policy Analysis & Management (JPAM) has published the APPAM Presidential address since 1988. Each president's remarks have been printed in the year following their term. You can read the entire JPAM issue online through the link provided. (Please note that the 1995 remarks were those of Past President Donald Stokes, who presided as APPAM President from 1984-1985.)


Executive Director

Tara Sheehan has served as the Executive Director of the Association since 2010. In this role, she is the Chief Operating Officer and oversees all programs, services and the strategic direction for APPAM. Her responsibilities include oversight of all meetings and conferences, including the annual Fall Research Conference, attended by more than 1,750 academics, practitioners, researchers, and students who present original research at 250-plus sessions each November. She also manages APPAM’s finances, website, publications, awards, member services and all governance functions for the 2,000 member organization. During her tenure, APPAM underwent its first ever strategic planning process, redesigned the website, established a social media presence, redesigned the logo, reduced the size of the governing board, increased the budget of the organization by 20%, increased its membership and made the organization more responsive to member needs.

Previously, Ms. Sheehan was the Director of Membership and Marketing at the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA). Her responsibilities included management of the annual conference, creation of content for the website, and management of a monthly magazine. Prior to RTDNA, Ms. Sheehan was the Membership and Marketing Director for the United Motorcoach Association (UMA), a trade association in Alexandria, VA. She has served as the number two staff position at both RTDNA and UMA and has a long history of association and non-profit management experience in the Washington, DC area.

Ms. Sheehan earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Politics from New York University in 1998. She received a Master of Public Policy degree, with a concentration in Transportation Policy, from George Mason University in 2005.

Deputy Executive Director

Tristanne M. Staudt serves as the Deputy Executive Director for APPAM. In this role, she oversees all event, membership, and administration activities of the association. She works closely with APPAM leadership to ensure that the organization remains on the forefront of innovation within the public policy field.Ms. Staudt served in several roles at APPAM including Education and Conferences Director and Membership, Marketing, and Special Projects Manager before stepping into her current role. Prior to that she served as the Manager of Member & Council Relations at the American Medical Group Association, managing nine large networking councils of healthcare executives and serving as a first point of contact for all members. She also has additional membership, marketing and meeting experience from other associations in the Washington, DC area.

Ms. Staudt earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and International Business from University of Toledo as well as a Master of Business Administration with focus in Human Resources from Champlain College.

Membership and Administration Manager

Ryan Martz returns to APPAM as Membership and Administration Manager after a 5 year hiatus. Ryan served as the Business and Membership Coordinator for APPAM from 2011 to 2013, at which point he returned to his home town in Pennsylvania to pursue work with his master’s degree in Forensic Psychology. Since that time he has gained experience working as mental health therapist as well an accountant. Ryan has his B.S. in Psychology as well as Administration of Justice from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA in Forensic Psychology from The American School of Professional Psychology. Married in 2015, Ryan and his wife are excited to return to the Metro Area and the great team at APPAM.

Meetings and Conferences Senior Manager

Samantha Oliver Thomason joined APPAM in Spring 2016. She is responsible for coordinating the logistics and providing support for all APPAM conferences and meetings. She helps ensure that all events achieve APPAM’s goals and objectives.

Samantha earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from East Carolina University and moved back to the DC area after graduation. She planned & executed over 300 events during her time as an event manager in Tysons, VA. These events ranged from large-scale galas to small-scale meetings and everything in-between.

Program and Conference Manager

Leslie Ofori joined APPAM in July 2017 and serves as the Program and Conference Manager. As part of APPAM’s new partnership with ASHEcon, American Society of Health Economists, she splits her time between both organizations. She is responsible for helping coordinate ASHEcon’s Annual Conference, managing the awards submissions process, coordinating membership and marketing efforts andassists with APPAM’s program and membership management tasks.

Previously, Leslie worked as the Development Assistant at Jobs With Justice, where she provided administrative support to the Development office and participated in all institutional advancement activities including donor and public relations, direct mail appeals, and special events coordination. Leslie moved to the District of Columbia after graduating from Loyola University in Maryland with a degree in communications. Prior to Jobs With Justice, she worked as a contractor with the Corporation for National and Community Service, the nation’s largest grantmaker, supporting grant application processing. She has also worked on campaigns to raise awareness about the impact of oil drilling in the Amazon, help immigrants navigate the judicial system and address the high school dropout crisis.

Program and Conference Manager

April Davis joined APPAM in Spring 2019 as the Program and Conference Manager for APPAM’s recent partnership with the National Tax Association (NTA). She is responsible for coordinating NTA’s membership and managing the conference submissions for the NTA’s Spring Symposium and Annual Conference.

April previously worked as the Preconception Peer Educator (PPE) Coordinator for the Office of Minority Health Resource Center where she was responsible for overseeing the organization’s peer educator program for college students.

Prior to that role, April was employed with TM FOURM, a non-profit member organization, as the Speaker Manager where she managed the speakers for the organization’s domestic and international conferences.

April holds a Bachelor’s degree in U.S. History from the College of Charleston, a Master of Arts degree in Education from The Citadel, and a Master of Public Health from The George Washington University.



APPAM Leadership Blog Series

In this series, our Executive Director, President, President-Elect and other officers provide APPAM members with a behind-the-scenes look at how APPAM operates and how you can be more involved. Here our authors introduce new initiatives, discuss current policy topics and share resources they value. 

Want to have a conversation? Follow @APPAM_DC and #APPAMLeaders on Twitter!

Latest Blog post: 

October 2019
Tips for Becoming a Leader in the Field of Program and Policy Evaluation
By Stephen Bell, APPAM Policy Council Member

May 2019
Techniques for Conducting Research More Efficiently
By Sanya Carley, APPAM Treasurer

July 2019
How (Many) Journals Work: A Far From Incomplete Guide for Public Policy/Economic Scholars
By: Christopher (Kitt) Carpenter, APPAM Vice-President

March 2019
Demystifying the Fall Research Conference Selection Process
By Tristanne Staudt, APPAM Deputy Executive Director

April 2019
Nothing About Us Without Us: Bringing Diverse Perspectives to Public Policy Research
By John Martinez, APPAM Vice-President 

January 2019
What We've Learned from the AEA Controversy
By Tara Sheehan, APPAM Executive Director

February 2019
The Next Generation of APPAM
By Matt Stagner, APPAM President

September 2018
What is the Role Advocacy Should Play in APPAM’s Activities?
By Tara Sheehan, APPAM Executive Director
October 2018
Our Conference Theme Emphasizes the Need to Use Research and Evidence at Every Stage of the Policy Process
By Matt Stagner, APPAM President-Elect
July 2018
Greetings from JPAM's New Editor
By Erdal Tekin, JPAM Editor-in-Chief
August 2018
APPAM is the Natural Place to Encourage New Scholars in our Field
By Michael Shires, APPAM Secretary

May 2018
Leaning On and Learning From Our Sister Associations
By Christopher (Kitt) Carpenter, APPAM Vice President

June 2018
Government Data is a National Treasure
By David Johnson, APPAM President

March 2018
There is No Place Like Home... and Dorothy's Ruby Slippers
By Matt Stagner, APPAM President-Elect

April 2018

We cover a lot of important policy topics at APPAM—this one on the opioid crisis is particularly meaningful
By Tara Sheehan, APPAM Executive Director

January 2018
Inclusion is Hard and We Must Do Better
By Tara Sheehan, APPAM Executive Director

February 2018
Welcome to the Exchange of Ideas 
By David Johnson, APPAM President