Donna Gerardi Riordan
Donna Gerardi Riordan moved with her family to Orcas Island, Washington four years ago with no thoughts of starting a research organization. Then in early 2012, she learned about plans to build the largest coal transport terminal in North America – the Gateway Pacific Terminal – at Cherry Point, Washington, a short distance from Orcas across Georgia Strait. Drawing on her professional background in science and education policy and communications at the National Academies in Washington, DC and the California Council on Science and Technology, she started to explore how scientific evidence and technical information was being used to inform local policy and permitting decisions. The gaps she found inspired her to create Research Now, with the goal of crowd funding location-specific research to inform policymakers.