Donna Gerardi Riordan

Executive Director

Donna Gerardi Riordan joins the Academy with extensive experience in science policy. After earning a B.S. degree in biology at Georgetown University and a Master’s degree in science and technology policy at George Washington University, she served for 14 years as a staff member at the US National Academy of Sciences in Washington, DC, where she founded and directed its Office of Public Understanding of Science.

In 2000 she moved to Soquel, CA, and worked at the University of California, Santa Cruz, as Assistant to the Chancellor for Science and Technology Policy. From 2005 to 2008, she served as Director of Programs for the California Council on Science and Technology, where she was the co-architect of its groundbreaking Science & Technology Fellows Program, which places scientists and engineers in the state legislature.

Beginning in 2008, she established a private firm called DGR Strategies, now headquartered in Eastsound, WA, through which she has consulted with national and state level organizations, primarily on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. In addition, she founded and has been directing Research Northwest, a non-profit organization devoted to generating best available science for policy decisions. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.