Donna Gerardi Riordan

After seven years of leading the Washington State Academy of Sciences (WSAS) through unprecedented growth, Donna Gerardi Riordan is stepping down as Executive Director in November.

“It has been an honor and privilege to lead this great organization,” said Gerardi Riordan, who joined WSAS in 2017. “Together with WSAS’s exceptionally committed Board, members, staff team, partners and others, we have made significant progress in fulfilling our mission of ‘science in the service of Washington State’. I feel confident that my successor will have a solid foundation on which to continue expanding the organization’s impact in the state.”

“Donna has been such an incredible steward of WSAS, dramatically increasing the role and visibility of the organization in the state,” said Dr. John Roll, WSAS President and Professor at Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine. “She has worked tirelessly over her tenure to establish WSAS as a trusted and valuable resource that the state can turn to for independent, expert scientific advice. The state, and our members, are fortunate to have benefited from her decades of experience in science policy.”

The WSAS Board of Directors is beginning a national search for WSAS’s next Executive Director who will lead WSAS into its next chapter.

Although she is stepping down as Executive Director, Gerardi Riordan plans to stay actively involved with the Academy as a senior advisor. In that role she will continue to foster and grow relationships with legislators, state agencies, and the Governor’s office. She will also play a key role in launching and monitoring major new projects for FY25 such as the value of solar, and laying the groundwork for new projects for FY26 and beyond.

“I am deeply thankful for the opportunity to work in an area that is my professional passion – science informing policy at the state level,” said Gerardi Riordan. “I truly believe that states are where the action is and must be as we move forward as a nation. I am excited to see what is next for WSAS.”

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