Risa has led the development of the National Rivers Project, River Studies and Leadership Certificate, library of Hydropower licenses and settlements and Prepare to Launch! – a guide for assessing and designing non-power craft launches. Risa received a BS in Engineering Product Design from Stanford University and marketed brands for Procter & Gamble, M&M/Mars, Coca-Cola USA, and Perception Kayaks. At American Whitewater, she founded their program of consumer products-based corporate support. Risa co-founded the Outdoor Alliance; chairs USA Freestyle Kayaking and the International Whitewater Hall of Fame and has served on the Conservation Alliance and Nantahala Outdoor Center boards.