Contact Us



AFS Headquarters Building in Bethesda, Maryland
5410 Grosvenor Lane, Suite 110
Bethesda, MD  20814-2144
Phone: (301) 897-8616
Fax: (301) 897-8096

Quick Contacts

When you call the American Fisheries Society, you will be asked for an extension to immediately reach the appropriate staff person. Please see below for the list of extensions by staff member.

Doug AustenDouglas Austen
Executive Director
ext. 208

Doug Austen has been Executive Director since 2013, but has been involved with AFS since the early 1980s as an undergraduate student at South Dakota State University. He served as president of the Illinois Chapter and North Central Division, wrote articles for several AFS journals and books, and also served as an associate editor for the North American Journal of Fisheries Management.  Prior to AFS, Doug was the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service national coordinator for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, executive director of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, and worked for 10 years each with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Natural History Survey. When not at AFS, Doug provides taxi service for his two teenagers and fishes, hunts, runs, bikes, and kayaks in Pennsylvania or wherever travels take him.  He has a Ph.D. from Iowa State University and an M.S. from Virginia Tech.

Beth BeardBeth Beard
Digital Content and Engagement Strategist
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Beth’s responsibilities include social media management, website maintenance, news media relations, marketing, graphic design, writing and editing, and photography. She also helps coordinate communications for the Global Conference on Inland Fisheries effort, a partnership between Michigan State University and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Previously, she was the managing editor of Parks & Recreation magazine and prior to that, she spent 11 years at AFS as the managing editor of Fisheries. She also has worked in public relations and publications in the wood products industry and the zoo and aquarium field. She has a BA in public communication from The American University. As a lifelong world traveler, her hobbies include travel photography, and her photos are licensed through Getty Images. She is married to longtime AFS member Doug Beard.

Tom Bigford squareThomas Bigford
Policy Director
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Tom is the AFS Policy Director, a role designed to integrate across our interests in science, management, and education. Tom joined the AFS staff in 2014 after a 38-year federal career in the marine fish habitat world. He first joined AFS in 1973 and has been an active member since 1996. He is past chair and current member of the Resource Policy Committee, current president of the Fish Habitat Section, and a regular contributor to Fisheries magazine.



Dan Cassidy squareDaniel Cassidy
Deputy Executive Director
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Daniel Cassidy joined AFS as Deputy Executive Director in 2015.  He oversees AFS operation functions including administration, communications, finance, and meetings.  Daniel has spent the majority of his career in association management and has worked for scientific and educational associations.  While not working, he can be found outside on the baseball field, gardening, or chasing his two Chihuahuas around the yard.



Juanita Flick
Juanita Flick
Membership Assistant
ext. 224

Juanita performs member support for individual membership at AFS.  That entails every type of question and a lot of listening, from, “What kind of organization is AFS?” to “Where are you located?” She tries to answer all questions as completely as possible, mentors students and new members, and finds AFS contacts. Sometimes, a recently deceased member’s spouse will call to change an address, etc., and they may want to chat for a bit – and she does, because she feels that’s also included in her job duties. Juanita processes financial transactions for dues, journals, and memberships, and helps with online journal access problems and access to the website. She registers attendees for the Annual Meeting, which includes processing registration fees, substitutions, invitation letters for our foreign visitors, and answering questions. If you have any questions or concerns, you know that Juanita will be there to assist you.

Sarah HarrisonSarah Harrison
Managing Editor, Fisheries
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Sarah recently accepted the position of managing editor of Fisheries, where she oversees the content packaging, art direction, management, and production of the magazine, working closely with the Executive Director, science editors, and writers in content conception and development. Before this position, she worked as an editor for a year, creating and editing content to engage and inform AFS members. Sarah holds a doctorate degree in fisheries from Mississippi State University and a master’s degree in marine resources management from Texas A&M Galveston.



Laura HendeeLaura Hendee
Journals Production Coordinator
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Laura joined AFS in 2006. In 2011, she assumed day-to-day management of the journals program and works closely with the AFS editorial boards, authors, copy editors, and our publishing partner to produce Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, the North American Journal of Fisheries Management, the North American Journal of Aquaculture, the Journal of Aquatic Animal Health, and Marine and Coastal Fisheries: Dynamics, Management, and Ecosystem Science. Laura graduated with a BA in English from the College of Wooster in 2005. She grew up fishing on family vacations in Wyoming and Colorado, but spent most of that time falling into various lakes and streams and usually ended up happily reading instead.


Shawn Johnston trade showShawn Johnston
Administrative Coordinator
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Shawn Johnston joined AFS as the Administrative Coordinator in 2007 and recently became the Meetings Manager. Shawn organizes the Trade Show at our Annual Meetings and assists in meeting planning and contract negotiations. Shawn also oversees the Job Board.  Shawn graduated from UMDNJ with a Bachelors of Science in emergency management, obtained his national registry flight paramedic license in 1997, and also attended Rutgers University for business management. Shawn also managed safety conferences for a large manufacturer in New Jersey for seven years.

Debby Lehman squareDebby Lehman
Books Coordinator
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Debby graduated from Occidental College with a degree in English and comparative literature and received a master’s degree in English literature from Boston University. She has been working in the books department of the American Fisheries Society for more than 15 years. Experienced in using Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop, and various other software programs, her responsibilities include copy editing, book layout, and prepress.




Aaron LernerAaron Lerner
Publications Director
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Aaron joined AFS in 2001. He manages overall publications department operations, including the books and journals programs. Additionally, Aaron develops editorial policies and procedures, works closely with AFS journals’ co-publisher Taylor & Francis, acts as liaison to AFS book customers, and considers requests to reuse AFS copyrighted materials. He particularly enjoys researching and locating hard-to-find fisheries publications. Previously, Aaron was managing editor of a monthly publication summarizing U.S. Congressional committee hearings. He grew up in St. Louis and remains a loyal Cardinals fan.


Jackie Machado
Accounting Assistant
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Jackie is the accounting  assistant for AFS.  If you need to pay an invoice or inquire about an outstanding balance concerning the Trade Show, plaques, or certificates, Jackie is the person to call.

Jessica Mosley square 2

Jessica Mosley
EXT. 204

Jessica joined AFS as the Associate Director for Student and Professional Education in January 2016. Prior to joining AFS, she led education and professional development initiatives for the meat, poultry, and produce industries. She has a M.A. in history from George Mason University and is a two-time ESPN Zone Ultimate Couch Potato Champion.



Cynthia ObohCynthia Oboh
Educational Program Coordinator
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Cynthia joined AFS as educational program coordinator in April 2015. She has a BS in health systems management. Prior to joining AFS, she worked as a federal contractor for Millennium Challenge Cooperation as a workforce development and training assistant. Her prior related experiences focuses on diversity and outreach initiatives. She is thrilled to work on the AFS diversity STEM initiative to high school students through its Hutton Junior Fisheries Biology Program. At AFS, she also works as certification program coordinator. In her time away from work, you can find her feeding the homeless in the District of Columbia.



Taylor Pool
Policy Analyst
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Eva Przygodzki
Membership Coordinator
ext. 203

Jasmine SewellJasmine Sewell
Unit Services Coordinator
ext. 205



Denise Spencer square 3Denise Spencer
Office Administration Manager
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Denise has been at AFS since 2010; her position includes human resources, administration, facilities management, meeting planning, overseeing IT, accounting, and grants.  If there are any issues, Denise is the person that people come to, and she’ll figure out what to do. If something comes up that no one in the office handles, it winds up on her desk. She ensures that our office is running smoothly.  If you have issues and can not figure out who to go to give her a call, and she can help you or direct you to the correct person.


Kurt West squareKurt West
Books Coordinator
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Kurt joined AFS staff as Books Production Coordinator in July 2007 after having completed his MFA in writing at American University, where he had also interned as an editor for the university’s journal of arts.  Prior to his graduate studies, he received his BA in English with a specialization in communication and technology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

Howard Williams square

Howard Williams
Administrative Specialist
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Howard joined the AFS staff in September 2007 and is currently the Administrative Specialist. A native of Colorado, he received a BS degree in 1974 and a MBA degree in 1976 from Colorado State University. For 30 years, Howard was the owner/operator of a large, diversified farm operation in Montgomery County, Maryland. During this time, he served in numerous leadership positions for agricultural and natural resource organizations at local, state, and national levels. As Administrative Specialist, Howard has been involved with most facets of AFS. Current primary responsibilities include coordinating document archiving operations, supervising community service volunteers, and coordinating the Steven Berkeley Marine Conservation Fellowship. He also works with certification, IT, accounting, and AFS Chapter insurance. Since his early years, Howard has been a professional homebuilder and woodworker, and many of his hand-carved picture frames adorn the walls of the AFS office.

Martha Wilson
Communications Director
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