Adriana Bankston is a scientist, advocate and mentor at the intersection of research, higher education, science policy, and workforce development.


Adriana is a Principal Legislative Analyst at the University of California Office of Federal Governmental Relations in Washington, DC, where she serves as an advocate for the university with Congress, the Administration and federal agencies.


Prior to this position, Adriana was a Policy & Advocacy Fellow at the Society for Neuroscience, where she provided staff support for special and on-going projects, including the society’s annual lobby event and the annual meeting.


Adriana empowers early career researchers in science policy through a variety of leadership roles. She is the Chief Executive Officer & Managing Publisher of the Journal of Science Policy & Governance, an internationally recognized non-profit organization and peer-reviewed publication dedicated to empowering early career scientists, engineers, and policy professionals in international science policy debate.


She is a Fellow with Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS), leading a project on developing the next generation workforce through science policy as a bridge between science and society. She is also a Biomedical Workforce & Policy Research Investigator at the STEM Advocacy Institute, as well as a member of the Engaging Scientists and Engineers in Policy (ESEP) Coalition Steering Committee. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Education Task Force with the Women in Government Relations professional society in Washington, DC.


Adriana was previously Co-Director of the Policy Taskforce at Future of Research, served as Co-vice Chair of the Policy, Education & Advocacy Writing Team on the Advocacy Committee for the National Postdoctoral Association, and is a former Associate Member of the Public Policy Committee for the American Society for Cell Biology. She was Co-chair of the Neuropolicy Committee with the Society for Neuroscience DC Metro Area Chapter. She is currently a Review Editor for Frontiers in Research Metrics and Analytics Journal, Research Policy and Strategic Management Specialty Section.


In recognition of her contributions to science policy and connecting science and society, Adriana was named among the Top 50 Women Leaders of DC for 2022, and awarded the inaugural 2022 ARIS Emerging Broader Impacts Leader Award. She has been spotlighted by Women in Government Relations (WGR) and the Association for Women in Science (AWIS) for her work in science and policy.


Adriana’s work has appeared in Issues in Science & Technology, Inside Higher Ed, Nature, Science Careers and the Union of Concerned Scientists Blog. She has been invited to speak at a number of venues, including the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine (NASEM) and the AAAS Catalyzing Advocacy in Science and Engineering (CASE) workshop.


Adriana earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Cell and Developmental Biology from Emory University. In addition to scientific publications, Adriana published on higher education issues in Studies in Graduate and Postdoctoral Education, eLife and PeerJ Preprints.


Adriana is on Twitter at @AdrianaBankston.