Board of Directors

Discovery Institute’s esteemed board propels its mission to advance a culture of purpose, creativity and innovation.

Bruce Chapman

Cofounder and Chairman of the Board of Discovery Institute
Bruce Chapman has had a long career in American politics and public policy at the city, state, national, and international levels. Elected to the Seattle City Council and as Washington State's Secretary of State, he also served in several leadership posts in the Reagan administration, including ambassador. In 1991, he founded the public policy think tank Discovery Institute, where he currently serves as Chairman of the Board and director of the Chapman Center on Citizen Leadership.

Howard Ahmanson

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Howard F. Ahmanson Jr. is founder and president of Fieldstead and Company, Inc., a private philanthropy working in national and international relief and development, education, the arts, family and children's concerns, and religious freedom issues worldwide. Born in Los Angeles in 1950, Ahmanson, is a graduate of Occidental College in that city and holds a master's degree in linguistics from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Dave Barber

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Dave serves as manager of Bartell-Barber Family Investments, LLC, where he is positioned to locate and acquire additional operating businesses on behalf of his extended family. In that capacity, in 2012 he acquired the assets of Urban Hardwoods Inc., a Seattle manufacturer and seller of live edge slab furniture, and now serves as chairman of Urban Hardwoods, LLC. He serves as co-chairman of Henbart, LLC, a commercial real estate investment subsidiary of The Bartell Drug Company. He also serves as President of the Bartell-Barber Family Council, whose function is to govern business enterprises of the extended family and to work toward the ultimate objective of succeeding those businesses to members of the fourth generation.

Charles Barbo

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Mr. Barbo is recently retired as the Chairman of Shurgard Storage Centers, Inc., a NY Stock Exchange traded company that was recently merged with Public Storage Inc. Mr. Barbo was a founder of Shurgard. He was raised in Seattle, attended the University of Washington and the Harvard Business School Executive Education Program. He serves on corporate boards of several Northwest companies.

Kathy Connors

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Kathy has been a community volunteer and philanthropist the past 25 years while raising her 4 children. A Bellevue, Washington native, she feels fortunate to be able to pursue her passions and community through organizations close to her heart. A 1982 graduate of the University of Washington Business school, Kathy worked for Deloitte, Haskins and Sells, Westin Hotels and Columbia Pictures before becoming a full time homemaker.

William A. Dembski

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
A mathematician and philosopher, Bill Dembski is the author/editor of more than 20 books as well as the writer of peer-reviewed articles spanning mathematics, engineering, philosophy, and theology. A past philosophy professor, he retired in 2014 from active research and teaching in intelligent design (ID) to focus on the connections between freedom, technology, and education — specifically, how education helps to advance human freedom with the aid of technology. Bill Dembski is presently an entrepreneur who builds educational software and websites. He lives in Iowa.

Mike Dunn

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Mike Dunn is the fourth generation president of Dunn Lumber. Mike started working after school in 1969 and has done practically every job in the company. His favorite job was buying the lumber, plywood, and other commodities, which he did for 25 years. He is the father of three married children, two of which work for the company and has year-old identical twin granddaughters. He loves boating and golf when he has time, but mostly he's found interacting with family, team members, vendors, and customers. As he’s very fond of saying, "trust is hard to build and easy to lose!”

Skip Gilliland

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Skip Gilliland, Founder and President of The Skip & Susan Gilliland Foundation, joined the Discovery Institute board in 2008. He is the co-founder of Geodax Technology, Inc., a nuclear medicine technology company based in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Gilliland served as the company's Chief Technical Officer from its founding in 1985 until 2004. In 2001, the company was named by the Triad Business Journal (a local business and trade publication) as one of the fastest growing companies in the region. Prior to founding Geodax, Mr. Gilliland worked for the Carolina Power & Light Company in its nuclear power generation division.

Hon. Sen. Slade Gorton

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Slade Gorton is of counsel to Preston Gates & Ellis LLP. He recently served as a Commissioner on the National Commission on Terrorists Attacks Upon the United States from 2002-2004. Before his appointment to the 9-11 Commission, Slade spent 18 years representing Washington State in the United States Senate. Gorton's years in the Senate saw him appointed to powerful committee posts including Appropriations, Budget, Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Energy and Natural Resources. Slade served as the Chairman of the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee (1995-2001), the Commerce Subcommittees on Consumer Affairs (1995-99), and Aviation (1999-2000). He was a member of the Republican leadership as counsel to the Majority Leader (1996-2000).

Richard Greiling

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Dick Greiling is President of Axion Systems, Inc., an application software development firm located in Seattle, which he co-founded in 1986. He is also the business manager of 222 Westlake LLC, Terry & Thomas LLC, and Benson Investments LLC, family corporations which develop and own real estate in the Puget Sound region. Dick serves as treasurer of University Presbyterian Church. Prior to his work at Axion, Dick spent 12 years as a management consultant, serving such clients as the U.S. Department of Labor, the U.S. Postal Service, Air Force Systems Command, and the University of San Francisco. He received his B.S. degree from Columbia University and his M.B.A. from U.C. Berkeley. Dick and his wife Kristina live in Seattle.

Bryan Mistele

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Bryan Mistele is the co-founder, President & Chief Executive Officer of INRIX, a leading provider of connected car services and transportation analytics. INRIX is at the forefront of connecting cars to smarter cities in more than 88 countries around the world. Bryan started INRIX in 2004, having had more than 15 years experience building high-technology businesses and transforming industries through the power of information technology As a leader on technology and transportation issues, Bryan is a popular speaker on the future of transportation. Bryan has served as a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s National Transportation Policy Project, as a member of the United States Department of Transportation’s ITS Advisory Committee, and as a board member of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. Bryan is co-founder of ACES Northwest – a group committed to the adoption of Autonomous, Connected, Electric and Shared vehicles. Prior to INRIX, Mistele was an executive at Microsoft. Bryan holds a B.S. in computer engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Byron Nutley

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Byron Nutley is currently the CFO of NewAlchemy, a Seattle-based company that works in blockchain technology. Prior to NewAlchemy, he was the Executive Vice President & CFO of ClipCard Inc., a Seattle-based software company. The ClipCard personal search app helps users find, understand, and act on information from across their cloud accounts and apps in a single starting place.

Mariana Parks

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Mariana Parks is principal of MXP COMMUNICATIONS GROUP, a firm offering a broad range of communications services to corporate, political and non-profit organizations, specializing in matters of public policy.

James Spady

Board Member, Discovery Institute
Jim Spady is the President of Seattle's iconic Dick's Drive-in Restaurant chain. A 1976 graduate of Bellevue's Interlake High School, Jim earned an economics degree (summa cum laude) from Arizona State University in 1980 and a Juris Doctor degree (magna cum laude) from the University of Washington School of Law in 1983.

Raymond J. Waldmann

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Ray Waldmann is Corporate Counsel & Secretary for AuBeta Networks Inc. His extensive experience and expertise in international relations and government affairs has been invaluable to clients seeking to better understand and relate to national and international governments and their policies on high-profile issues, such as trade and telecommunications.

Tony Whatley

Board of Directors, Discovery Institute
Tony Whatley grew up in Atlanta and earned both his Bachelor and Masters Degrees from the Georgia Institute of Technology. All of his career was spent in the institutional investment management field. His first stint was as one of the original founders of INDATA, which relocated to San Francisco in the early 1970’s. In 1976, he was recruited by Frank Russell Company and moved to the Pacific Northwest. He spent 15 years in various positions with Frank Russell rising to the Director of Sales and Marketing. In 1992, he founded Accessor Capital Management and served as the CEO of Accessor Mutual Funds until the company was sold in 2008. Since that time, Tony has served on several boards of nonprofit organizations and devoted much of his time to researching and writing about fitness and its application in promoting health and longevity.