About NISC Secretariat

The National Invasive Species Council (NISC) Secretariat provides the guidance and support necessary for the Council to undertake its duties. It serves as the primary point of contact for the Council, delivers scientific and technical advice to NISC members, works to ensure effective communication and collaboration across Federal Departments/Agencies and among Federal inter-agency bodies, coordinates interdepartmental planning processes and project implementation, manages ISAC and its subcommittees, develops and coordinates implementation of the NISC Management Plan, oversees the NISC website, and reports on NISC accomplishments. The Secretariat is located within the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior. Click here for Secretariat reports and other resources.

NISC Secretariat 

Jamie K. Reaser, Executive Director Jamie K. Reaser
Executive Director of the Council

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Jamie K. Reaser serves as the Executive Director of the National Invasive Species Council (NISC). In addition to guiding all aspects of NISC Secretariat operations, Jamie is currently providing the leadership necessary to develop the Arctic Council's Arctic Invasive Alien Species (ARIAS) Strategy and Action Plan; coordinate an update to the Regional Biosecurity Plan for Micronesia and Hawaii; produce a documentary on invasive species entitled, Protecting What Matters; and establish an annual Innovation Summit to advance U.S. technical capacities to address the most pressing invasive species issues.

Jamie is a globally-recognized expert on invasive species, as well as a wide range of other environmental and sustainable development issues. She has worked in more than fifty countries as an ecologist, environmental negotiator, professional communications and leadership development trainer, and programmatic analyst. Among other positions, she previously served as the Executive Director of the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP) and NISC's Assistant Director for International Policy, Science, and Cooperation. She received a Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University and B.S. in Field Biology from the College of William and Mary.​


Stas Burgiel, Assistant Director – Policy and Program Coordination Stas Burgiel
Assistant Director – Policy and Program Coordination

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Stanley W. Burgiel (“Stas”) serves as the NISC Secretariat’s Assistant Director for Policy and Program Coordination. In this capacity, he guides implementation of the policy-oriented actions set forth in the NISC Management Plan and Executive Order 13112, provides advice on invasive species policy development to NISC member Departments/Agencies, and participates in international negotiations focused on invasive species issues. Current areas of focus include: cost-benefit assessments of modern biotechnology for invasive species prevention, eradication, and control; integrating invasive species prevention measures into free trade agreements; and raising the capacity of invasive species practitioners to apply the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in a timely and efficient manner.
 
Stas has extensive experience working on international environmental policy, with a particular interest in invasive species, biodiversity conservation, climate change, and trade. He has worked and consulted for a wide-range of nongovernmental, governmental and intergovernmental organizations, including the Global Invasive Species Programme (GISP), Nature Conservancy UNEP/World Conservation Monitoring Centre and New Zealand government. Stas received his Ph.D. in International Service from the American University and a B.A. in Political Science from Swarthmore College.


Jeff Morisette

Jeff Morisette
Chief Scientist

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Jeff Morisette serves as Chief Scientist of the NISC Secretariat. In this role, he coordinates a whole of government approach to addressing "grand challenges" in invasive species science and technology. Jeff has more than 25 years of experience in invasive species and Earth science research programs. His work has involved extensive collaboration between federal and university research communities with on-the-ground resource managers to co-produce the best possible management solutions.

Prior to joining the Secretariat, Jeff served as the director of the DOI North Central Climate Science Center (2012 to 2017), head of the Invasive Species Science Branch and the assistant center director for science at the USGS Fort Collins Science Center (2008 to 2012), and as a research scientist at the NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and NASA Headquarters.  

Jeff received a B.A. degree from Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan, an M.S. degree in Statistics from Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, and a PhD. from North Carolina State University.  He also attended the International Space University's Summer Program, Vienna, in 1996. In 2006 he won NOAA’s National “David Johnson Award for Outstanding Innovative Use of Earth Observation Satellite Data.” In 2010, he was part of team that won a “DOI Partnership in Conservation” award for work in combating invasive species.


Kelsey Brantley, Coordinator for NISC Secretariat Operations and ISAC Kelsey Brantley
Coordinator for NISC Secretariat and ISAC Operations

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Kelsey A. Brantley serves as the Coordinator for NISC Secretariat Operations and the Invasive Species Advisory Committee (ISAC). She plays an instrumental role in keeping the Secretariat running smoothly and ensuring that it is able to meet its many demands in a timely manner. She functions as the Secretariat’s acquisition/finance, personnel, and budget officer. In keeping with the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA), she manages ISAC and the relations with ISAC members.

Kelsey is a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, specializing in both signals intelligence and administration. She served at Iraklion Air Base in Crete, Greece and the National Security Agency at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. She received a B.A. magna cum laude in Business (Accounting minor) from Strayer University in 2013.


Jhoset Burgos Rodriguez

Jhoset A. Burgos Rodriguez
Senior Legal and Policy Analyst

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Jhoset A. Burgos Rodriguez serves as the NISC Secretariat’s Senior Legal and Policy Analyst. In this capacity, he advances NISC's work with regard to legal and institutional frameworks, policy formulation and review, and Congressional actions. His current work focuses on analyses of Federal authorities related to the early detection of and rapid response invasive species (EDRR), invasive species that impact wildlife health, and invasive species that impact infrastructure.

Jhoset has experience working on invasive species from research, management, and policy perspectives. His graduate research focused on the effect of invasive reptiles in tropical ecosystems. He has worked for the University of Puerto Rico Zoological Museum, the University of Rhode Island, and most recently, he served as a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow at the Department of the Interior Office of Insular Affairs. Jhoset received his M.S. in Ecology and Ecosystem Sciences from the University of Rhode Island and a B.S. in Integrative Biology from the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras. Currently, he is working towards his J.D. at the University of Puerto Rico Law School.


Jason Kirkey, Director of Publications Jason Kirkey
Director of Publications

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Jason Kirkey is the Director of Publications for the National Invasive Species Council (NISC) Secretariat. He works to ensure that the Secretariat is highly visible, reporting is timely, and that outputs are of high quality. In addition to drafting, editing, and designing publications for the Secretariat, Jason manages the NISC website, oversees and writes for the Secretariat's What Matters blog, and contributes his social science and communications expertise to the Secretariat's work in policy and programmatic development.
 
Jason is an award-winning author and publisher, as well as the founder of a small press focused on environmental poetry and nonfiction. He holds master’s degrees in Conservation Biology from Prescott College and in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness from California Institute of Integral Studies. He received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies and Contemplative Psychology from Naropa University.


Sarah Veatch, Project Coordination Sarah Veatch
Project Manager

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Sarah Veatch serves as the NISC Secretariat’s Project Manager. In addition to helping to manage the large number of high profile projects undertaken by the Secretariat and its partners, Sarah works with senior staff to report on Secretariat accomplishments; craft expert policy and program advice for NISC senior leadership; provide guidance and support to task teams operating under ISAC; and track the outputs of the NISC Management Plan, other federal guidance documents, and emerging priorities.

Sarah has more than three years of high-level policy experience in the U.S. Congress working on environment, infrastructure, and development issues. Among other positions, she previously served as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and as a Research Assistant on the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Currently, Sarah is completing two master’s degrees from American University (Washington, D.C.) and the UN-mandated University for Peace (Costa Rica) in International Relations and Natural Resource Management and Sustainable Development, respectively.


Mike VissichelliMike Vissichelli
Infrastructure Project Director

Mike is with the NISC Secretariat as a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) detailee. In this role, he is leading an assessment of the impacts of invasive species on federally owned and managed infrastructure. The assessment will be used to inform the changes necessary to prevent the costly and potentially life-threatening impacts of invasive species on U.S. infrastructure – from buildings and roads to dams and levees to irrigation pipes and energy supply systems.

Since 2014, Mike has served as the USACE Operations Program Manager responsible for coordination, administration, and management of recreation, environmental stewardship, natural resources, environmental compliance, sustainability, flood risk management, navigation, locks, channels, hydropower, asset management, and dredging for more than 50 Civil Works Water Development projects located across the northeastern and mid-Atlantic states. He received a bachelor's degree in Wildlife Management from the State University of New York College of Agriculture and Technology at Cobleskill, New York.


Additional hires are in progress. Check the blog for information on available positions and hiring announcements. Are you a Federal employee interested in doing a detail with the Secretariat? Contact us! If you are a student interested in an internship, consider joining us through the Pathways Internship program.