The National Invasive Species Council (NISC) Staff 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, develops and coordinates implementation of the annual NISC Work Plan, oversees the NISC website, and reports on NISC accomplishments. The Staff is located within the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Stanley W. Burgiel (“Stas”) serves as the NISC Executive Director. In this capacity, he guides implementation of the policy-oriented actions set forth in the annual NISC Work Plan, 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.
Angela McMellen Brannigan serves as the NISC Technical Adviser. In this role, she plays a lead role on scientific and technical invasive species issues identified in the NISC Work Plan and by member agencies. Her work includes coordinating interagency discussions on NISC priorities and providing input on strategic planning exercises.
Angela has expertise in invasive species as a researcher and policy maker. With much of her career spent at the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service, Angela has extensive experience on regulatory methods of preventing and controlling invasive species. Angela worked on developing regulatory policy to limit the spread of invasive species through international agricultural trade in plants and plant products engaging with a wide variety of trading partners and industry groups in that capacity. She has also worked on regulatory solutions to containing invasive species domestically collaborating with state departments of agriculture, domestic producers, and scientists. In addition to a background in regulatory policy, Angela has worked for state government, managed a large grant program, and worked in academia.
Angela holds a B.A. in French and Biology from Austin College, a M.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in Forest Resources/Wildlife Ecology from the University of Georgia.
Kelsey A. Brantley serves as the NISC Operations Director. She plays an instrumental role in keeping NISC's administrative, acquisition/finance, personnel, and budget functions running smoothly and ensuring that it is able to meet its many demands in a timely manner. In addition to supporting NISC staff, Kelsey leads the crosscut budget activity as a subset of the annual NISC Work Plan.
Kelsey is a 10-year veteran of the U.S. Air Force, specializing in both signals intelligence and unit administration. She served at Iraklion Air Base in Crete, Greece and the National Security Agency at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. Prior to joining the NISC Staff, Kelsey was the Lead Secretary for the Permits and Risk Assessments Division within USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine. She received her B.A. (magna cum laude) in Business (Accounting minor) from Strayer University.