Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs: Who Is Evan Ryan?

Sunday, August 04, 2013

The State Department agency that sponsors programs for international education and cultural exchange, such as the Fulbright Scholar Program, is set to have a new leader. President Barack Obama on July 9 nominated Evan Ryan to serve as the next Assistant Secretary of State to run the Bureau for Education and Cultural Affairs. Ryan has served in the White House as assistant to tVice President Joe Biden and special assistant to the President for intergovernmental affairs and public engagement since 2009. If confirmed by the Senate as expected, Ryan would succeed Ann Stock, who has served in the post since 2010.

 

Born circa 1972 to Anthony and Donna Ryan of Alexandria, Virginia, Evan Maureen Ryan graduated Georgetown Visitation Prep School in 1989, going on to earn a B.A. in Political Science at Boston College in 1993 and a Masters in International Public Policy at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies in 2006. 

 

Ryan served on the White House staff of First Lady Hillary Clinton as special assistant to the First Lady’s chief of staff from 1994 to 1997 and as deputy director of scheduling from 1997 to 2000. The latter job required Ryan to travel to 22 countries to prepare for Clinton’s foreign trips.

 

In the waning days of the Clinton administration, Ryan continued to work for Hillary Clinton as director of scheduling for the “Hillary 2000” U.S. Senate campaign in New York, following up by working on the presidential campaign of John Kerry, who was then U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, as deputy communications director in 2003 and 2004.

 

Ryan was deputy chair for the Governance track of the Clinton Global Initiative in New York in 2005, and served as political director of Unite Our States in 2006.

 

In 2007 and 2008, Ryan was deputy campaign manager for the presidential primary campaign of Joe Biden, who was then serving as U.S. Senator from Delaware. After Biden was nominated to run for vice president, she worked for the general election campaign as well. 

 

Ryan was a founding member of the Board of Directors of the conflict-management NGO PeacePlayers International from 2001 to 2009, and has served as a consultant for the Education Partnership for Children of Conflict, an NGO co-founded by Angelina Jolie and Gene Sperling. From 2008 to 2013, she was a term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

Ryan has been married to Antony J. Blinken, assistant to President Obama and deputy national security adviser to the president, since March 2002.

 

- Matt Bewig

 

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Comments

Peter Tompa 3 years ago
The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs has many worthy programs that promote cultural exchange. However, it's program to place import restrictions on common cultural goods like ancient coins of the sort widely collected abroad do the opposite, and at great cost to collectors and the small businesses of the numismatic and antiquities trade. What's worse is that we are being "holier than the pope." Restrictions have been put in place on behalf of countries like Cyprus, China, Italy and Greece, even though these own countries do not place similar restrictions on their own citizens.

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