John R. Ryan is president of the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®), a top-ranked, global provider of executive education that develops better leaders through its exclusive focus on leadership education and research. Founded in 1970 as a nonprofit, educational institution, CCL helps clients worldwide cultivate creative leadership – the capacity to think and act beyond the boundaries that limit effectiveness – through an array of programs, products and other services.
As president, Ryan directs the operations of CCL, which is supported by more than 500 faculty members and staff at five campus locations in Asia, Europe and North America. Ranked by the Financial Times among the world’s top providers of executive education, CCL works annually with more than 20,000 individual leaders and 3,000 organizations in the corporate, government, nonprofit and education sectors.
A retired U.S. Navy Vice Admiral, Ryan joined CCL’s Board of Governors in 2002 and became president in 2007. From 2005 to 2007, he served as Chancellor of the State University of New York (SUNY), the largest comprehensive system of public higher education in the United States with 64 campuses and more than 400,000 students and 80,000 faculty and staff. Widely respected as chancellor, he was credited with enhancing SUNY’s relations with faculty, students and lawmakers, securing record budgets to hire hundreds of new faculty and staff members for teaching and research and bolstering the university’s overall reputation. Previously, Ryan served as president of the State University of New York Maritime College and as interim president of the University at Albany, where he strengthened academic programs, campus facilities and fund-raising efforts.
From 1998 to 2002, Ryan was Superintendent (President) of the U.S. Naval Academy, winning widespread praise for his focus on academics, strategic planning and fund-raising. A former Navy pilot, Ryan commanded squadrons, wings and forces in Asia, Europe and the Middle East during a 35-year career in the military.
Ryan serves on the Board of Directors for Cablevision (Bethpage, N.Y.) and CIT Group Inc. He is also a member of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation Board.
Ryan graduated with a B.S. degree from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1967. He received an M.S. degree in Administration from George Washington University in 1975. He has also completed the program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. Ryan and his wife, Diane, have three grown daughters and four grandchildren.