John R. Ryan

John R. Ryan
Born (1945-08-15) August 15, 1945
Harrisburg, Pa.
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch United States Navy
Years of service 1963-2002
Rank Vice admiral
Commands held U.S. Sixth Fleet/Commander, Fleet Air Mediterranean/Commander, United States Naval Academy/Superintendent
Awards Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Defense Superior Service Medal (with oak leaf cluster), Legion of Merit (with two gold stars), Meritorious Service Medal (with two gold stars), Air Medal, Navy Commendation Medal (with two gold stars)
Other work President: State University of New York Maritime College (2002-2006)
Chancellor: State University of New York (2006-2007)
President and CEO: Center for creative leadership (2007-present)

John R. Ryan (born August 15, 1945) is a retired United States Navy vice admiral who served as the Superintendent of the United States Naval Academy and as the Chancellor of the State University of New York. He is currently the CEO and President of Center for Creative Leadership, a non-profit organization focusing on leadership education and research.


A native of Mountainhome, Pennsylvania, Ryan graduated from the United States Naval Academy in June 1967 with his twin brother, Vice Admiral Norbert Ryan Jr., USN. After designation as a naval aviator, his initial assignment was to Patrol Squadron EIGHT.[1] From 1972 to 1975, he was assigned to the Candidate Guidance Office at the Naval Academy. He then served two years aboard the USS Nimitz as Assistant Navigator followed by a department head tour in Patrol Squadron TWENTY-SIX.

Ryan received a Master of Science Degree in Administration from George Washington University, Washington D.C. in 1975. He has also completed the program for Senior Executives in National and International Security at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Prior to the selection for flag rank, Ryan commanded Patrol Squadron ELEVEN, Patrol Squadron THIRTY-ONE, and Patrol Wing TEN. Other Shore assignments included the Strategic Concepts Group in the Office of Chief of Naval Operations, Military Assistant to the Executive Secretary in the immediate office of the Secretary of Defense, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Naval Operations (Air Warfare), and Executive Assistant to the Commander in Chief, United States Pacific Command.

Flag assignments

In March 1991, he was promoted to rear admiral and served as the Director, Logistics and Security Assistance (J4) for the Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command. In August 1993, Ryan assumed his duties as Commander, Patrol Wings, U.S. Pacific Fleet/Commander, Anti-Submarine Warfare Forces, U.S. Pacific Fleet.

Ryan served as the United States Naval Academy's Superintendent for four years before retiring. He assumed his duties as the 32nd President of the State University of New York Maritime College on June 14, 2002.

Concurrent with his duties at the Maritime College, Ryan briefly filled in as Interim President of the University at Albany.[2]

Ryan was named Acting Chancellor of the State University of New York System in April 2005.[3] and assumed the full role in December of that year.[4]

On March 7, 2007, Ryan announced that he would step down as Chancellor on May 31, 2007 to become the president and CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership headquartered in Greensboro, N.C.[5]

Ryan is married to the Diane L. Ryan (née Ackerman) of Bangor, Pennsylvania. They have three adult daughters: Tricia, Kelly, and Julie.

Other Activities

Ryan has served as a director of Cablevision Systems Corporation since 2002 and currently serves as Chairman of the U.S. Naval Academy Foundation Board.[6] In 2012, Mr. Ryan received $247,508 in cash and stock for his services as a Cablevision director.[7]


  1. "John Ryan Biography". The Research Foundation of the State University of New York. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  2. "SUNY Maritime President Ryan Named Interim President of University at Albany". The State University of New York. 2004-02-24. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  3. Arenson, Karen W. (2005-04-07). "Vice Admiral to Be Named Acting Chancellor of SUNY". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  4. Arenson, Karen W. (2005-12-20). "New Chancellor Selected to Lead SUNY's 64 Campuses". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  5. "Chancellor Ryan to be President and CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership". The State University of New York. 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2008-05-11.
  6. "Foundation Board of Directors". U.S. Naval Academy Foundation. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  7. Stewart, James B. (12 April 2013). "When Shareholder Democracy Is Sham Democracy". New York Times.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Charles R. Larson
Superintendent of United States Naval Academy
Succeeded by
Richard J. Naughton
Preceded by
David C. Brown
President of the State University of New York Maritime College
June 15, 2002–2006
Succeeded by
John W. Craine Jr.
Preceded by
Carlos E. Santiago (Officer in Charge)
Interim President of the University at Albany, SUNY
February 24, 2004 – January 31, 2005
Succeeded by
Kermit L. Hall
Preceded by
Robert L. King
Chancellor of the State University of New York
June 1, 2005 – December 19, 2005 (Acting)
December 20, 2005 – May 31, 2007
Succeeded by
John B. Clark (Acting)
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