Una Ryan on Sierra Peterson

“Women have good ideas and if we're smart we'll all invest in women!”

SIERRA PETERSON grew up in the wild beauty of Whidbey Island, developing a love and appreciation for the natural world that guided her to become an influential force in the field of market-driven climate protection. After working in the Obama administration as a policymaker in the Office of Energy and Climate Change, Sierra turned her brilliant mind to leading corporate investment in early-stage technologies for climate stabilization and sustainability. DR. UNA RYAN tells us the story of her friend and Angel Investor colleague, who dedicates her life to preserving and protecting our beloved Earth.

Our storytellers share these astonishing women with us conversationally and unscripted; we fact-check afterwards and note any major discrepancies for accuracy.


Una Ryan

Dr. Una Ryan has extensive experience leading public, private and non-profit companies. Her current board positions include: Cortexyme, NASDAQ CRTX, RenovoRx and Elemental Machines. She was Chair of The Bay Area BioEconomy Initiative, now combined with CLSI (California Life Sciences Institute) and was formerly on the board of BIO, BayBio and Chair of MassBio. She also serves on the Boards of Cambridge in America, Bristol University US Foundation and San Francisco Art Institute.

Dr. Ryan is an investor concentrating on women-led ventures. She is an LP at Breakout Ventures, Managing Director of Golden Seeds, and a partner in Astia Angel. She has a portfolio of approximately 35 start-ups in the Bay Area and Boston focusing heavily on synthetic biology and medtech.

Featured Woman

Sierra Peterson

Sierra Peterson, raised on Whidbey Island, in Washington, is a venture capitalist, angel investor and former hedge fund executive and policymaker. She is a graduate of Stanford, and at Harvard, earned a merit-based Harvard fellowship covering the full tuition. Sierra created and led corporate development teams for venture-backed financial technology platforms responsible for more than $3 billion in sustainability investments. She has worked in market-driven climate protection since 2004, serving with the International Energy Agency, the California Public Utilities Commission and the Obama-era White House Office of Energy and Climate Change. She is a Partner at Lionheart Investors, leading the fund’s investments in climate protection. Sierra currently serves on the Board of Directors of Climate Neutral. At Stanford, Sierra walked onto the Stanford crew team as a college freshman and continues to enjoy endurance sports and marathon running.