Who we are

The Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization established by the Washington State Legislature in 2005 to advise state policymakers – including, but not limited to, state agencies, the Legislature and the Governor’s office – on public policy issues involving science and technology. Our mission is to provide expert scientific and engineering assessments to inform public policymaking and increase the impact of research in Washington State.

Our story

In 2005, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire recognized the need for – and called for the creation of – an independent resource that state policymakers could turn to for scientific and technical advice.

The Washington State Legislature took up her call, unanimously passing Engrossed Senate Bill 5381. This legislation officially established the Washington State Academy of Sciences with the principal mission of providing “scientific analysis and recommendations on questions referred to the Academy by the Governor, the Governor’s designee, or the legislature.”

In 2006, an Organizing Committee, co-chaired by University of Washington President Mark Emmert and Washington State University President Lane Rawlins, developed the initial budget, articles of incorporation, and bylaws of WSAS. National Academy of Sciences members Gordon Orians and R. James Cook among others helped set WSAS up as a ‘working academy’ modeled in form and function after the National Academies.

In 2008, WSAS was established as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Washington State University (WSU) serves as the Academy’s fiscal sponsor through a Memorandum of Understanding, though WSAS operates independently of WSU.

Over the years, WSAS has grown, and continues to grow, in our capacity to respond to the ever evolving scientific and technological information needs of Washington State.

Meet the people who make our work possible

Meet the people who make our work possible


The WSAS Board of Directors guides the implementation of our mission, sets our strategic priorities and provides oversight.


WSAS members are nationally recognized for their scientific and technical expertise and are essential to the work we do.


WSAS staff facilitate our work, bringing expertise in science policy, communications, operations and finance.

Core Values

Our values reflect what we stand for as an organization and as individuals.

We are non-partisan.independent.non-advocate.