Dr. Iris R. Wagstaff is a chemist, educator, mentor, researcher and science policy advisor. She currently serves as a STEM Program Director in the Inclusive STEM Ecosystems for Equity and Diversity (ISEED) Unit of AAAS where she manages a ~$30-million-dollar portfolio focused on broadening participation in STEM, inclusive workforce development, and advancing innovation capacity at HBCUs at the undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral levels. In this role she also serves as Principal Investigator (PI) on several NSF-funded grants that support researchers and innovators from diverse backgrounds. She served as a 2015-2017 AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the Department of Justice (DOJ) National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences where she developed and led an agency-wide DEI initiative. She is a native of Goldsboro, NC with a BS and MS in Chemistry from UNC-Greensboro and NC A&T State Universities respectively; and a PhD in Science Education Research and Policy from North Carolina State University. She worked as a research chemist at the Dow Chemical Company for 15 years where she led analytical project teams and company-wide diversity initiatives. She has over 20 years of STEM outreach and advocacy developing strategic partnerships between industry, academia, and community organizations.
Iris is also a social scientist with a research focus on examining factors that predict science self-efficacy, science identity, and STEM career intent in K-12 underrepresented minorities (URMs). She is a thought leader and change agent in the broader STEM community. She serves on the Advisory Boards of several organizations that include the National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers (NOBCChE) and several NSF-funded grants. She is an adjunct chemistry professor at UNC-Greensboro where she leads DEI efforts in the chemical sciences. She is the Founder and Executive Director of Wagstaff STEM Solutions, an education and diversity consulting company. She has received several honors that include the 2020 DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance Education Award, the 2019 BEYA Science Trailblazer Award, and the 2018 NOBCChE Presidential Award for Mentoring, and the 2017 Women of Color in STEM Education Award.