Ryan is a writer, thinker, speaker and entrepreneur. He was named as ‘One to watch’ in 2015 by The Observer.

Ryan is the Founder and Executive Chair of Bright Blue, an independent think tank for liberal conservatism. He was the Chief Executive from 2014 – 2023. Under his leadership, Bright Blue has grown significantly in size, reputation and impact. The organisation was shortlisted for the UK social policy think tank of the year and UK environment and energy think tank of the year in the prestigious annual Prospect Magazine awards four years in a row.

Bright Blue has raised over £6 million for its work, employed around 80 people and seen the adoption of over 70 original Bright Blue policies by the UK Government. Broadly, under David Cameron, Bright Blue’s work helped improve education policy, especially on childcare and universities. Under Theresa May, it secured significant changes to environmental policy, including being the first centre-right organisation to call for the UK to adopt a legal net zero emissions target. Under Boris Johnson, Bright Blue helped change the post-Brexit immigration system for workers and students. Under Rishi Sunak, many of Bright Blue’s ideas on reforming childcare support were adopted.

Ryan’s research focuses on economic, employment, education and social policy. Many of his policy ideas have been adopted by the UK Government over the past decade. He appears regularly in the national press and broadcast media, appearing on Newsnight, BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 News, Radio 4, and LBC Radio, and in The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times, Evening StandardThe Daily Mail, The Spectator, and The New Statesman.

Ryan was previously a Research Fellow for the think tank the Social Market Foundation and was part of the team that won Prospect Magazine’s ‘Think Tank of the Year’ in 2012. At the SMF, he authored numerous research papers and designed innovative policies on childcare, welfare, public service reform, higher education and health.

Prior to 2010, he was a researcher for Rt Hon David Willetts MP when he was Shadow Education Secretary, where he authored the Conservative Party’s Childhood Review, and an adviser to the Conservative Party on families and education, formulating party policy and managing media relations. He was the Political Secretary of the Bow Group, a centre-right think tank. Ryan has also previously been the editor of three political magazines: CrossbowThe Progressive Conscience and Centre Write.

Ryan is a Senior Visiting Fellow at King’s College London and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Bath. He was appointed by the Foreign Office as a Commissioner of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission. He is a trustee of Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO), and was previously a trustee for the Early Intervention Foundation (2017-2023), Young Women’s Trust (2014-2019) and the Daycare Trust (2010-2015). He sits on the advisory council of the University of Bath Institute for Policy Research, and sat on the advisory council of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Shelter’s Big Conversation on Social Housing. He is a mentor for the Social Mobility Foundation and was a governor of a new secondary school in East London.