Cadwalader Joins ESA as Director of Strategic Initiatives

Science policy expert to lead Society’s growing advocacy, government relations efforts

Erin Cadwalader, Ph.D.Annapolis, MD; January 21, 2020—This month, the Entomological Society of America welcomed Erin Cadwalader, Ph.D., to its team as the organization’s new director of strategic initiatives. Cadwalader succeeds Chris Stelzig, CAE, who was promoted to executive director of ESA in December 2019.

Previously, Cadwalader (pictured at right) served as a government relations associate at Lewis-Burke Associates in Washington, DC, where she represented the interests of five universities and two professional societies, including ESA. Her expert consulting role in the creation and growth of ESA’s Science Policy program made her an ideal candidate for the open staff role.

“When Erin was the team lead at our partner Lewis-Burke, I found her advice to be indispensable,” Stelzig says. “So, when the ESA Executive Committee offered me the job of executive director, my first thought was to find a way to continue working with her. She is exactly the right person to take ESA’s advocacy program to the next level.”

In her new role, Cadwalader will lead all facets of ESA’s science policy and advocacy operations, including the recently established Vector-Borne Disease Network and the Grand Challenges Agenda for Entomology. She will also oversee ESA’s certification programs, support ESA’s Section Governing Councils, and lead occasional special projects.

Cadwalader brings a diverse set of experiences to ESA that bridge the science and public policy realms. After earning a doctorate in neurobiology and anatomy, Cadwalader transitioned from the bench to the science policy community nearly a decade ago, serving in advocacy roles on issues ranging from scientific research and workforce development to higher education and social justice.

“I’m thrilled to join the great team at ESA, because entomology is central to so many of the biggest challenges we are facing domestically and globally,” Cadwalader says. “Whether you’re talking about public health and vector-borne disease, sustainable agricultural practices, invasive species, protecting pollinators, or growing concerns about a loss of biodiversity, insects are ubiquitous. I look forward to helping ensure entomologists are part of the solution to these challenges.”

Cadwalader began her previous role at Lewis-Burke Associates in 2014. Prior to that, she served in policy advocate roles at the Association for Women in Science (2012-2014), Research!America (2012), and the Utah Health Policy Project (2009). She earned her B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003 and her Ph.D. in neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Utah in 2010.

CONTACT: Joe Rominiecki,, 301-731-4535 x3009

ABOUT: ESA is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Founded in 1889, ESA today has more than 7,000 members affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland, the Society stands ready as a non-partisan scientific and educational resource for all insect-related topics. For more information, visit