Jordan Ryan '69

Jordan Ryan '69 is the vice president for peace programs at The Carter Center, an organization founded by U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide. Ryan previously served for 24 years with the United Nations in developing countries and post-crisis settings.

Previously Ryan had an accomplished career with the United Nations, serving developing countries and post-crisis settings. He was assistant administrator of United Nations Development Programme and director of the UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery, serving at the assistant secretary-general level. From 2006-2009, Ryan was deputy special representative of the secretary-general for recovery and governance, and resident and humanitarian coordinator of the U.N. mission in Liberia. He joined the UN Development Programme in China as assistant resident representative in 1991, was senior assistant resident representative and deputy resident representative in Viet Nam from 1993-1996, and was resident representative there from 2001-2005. He served as deputy director of the Office of the Administrator in UNDP headquarters from 1996-97 and director of that office from 1997-2001.

At Webb, Ryan was active in many areas of campus life. He served on the Honor Committee and ASB; he was editor of El Espejo and a DJ on KWEB. He earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Yale University, a law degree from George Washington University, and a master's degree from Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He was a visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2001.

He has had a long and distinguished career with the United Nations and brings a wealth of development experience, including in post-crisis settings.

From 2006 to 2009, Ryan served as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (Recovery and Governance) and UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Liberia. From 2001 to 2005, he was UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Vietnam, where he was one of the key inspirations for the Delivering as One initiative. Prior to that assignment, Ryan served as Deputy Director, then Director of the Office of the UNDP Administrator in New York between 1996 and 2001.

Earlier in his career, Ryan held the positions of UNDP Deputy Resident Representative and Senior Assistant Resident Representative in Vietnam from 1993 to 1996. He was also the UNDP Assistant Resident Representative in China from 1991 to 1993. Before joining the United Nations, Ryan worked as an attorney in New York and California and an international legal consultant in Asia and in the Middle East.

Ryan, a US national, holds an MA in international affairs from Columbia University, a JD from the National Law Center at George Washington University, and a BA in anthropology from Yale University. He was a visiting fellow at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University in 2001.

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  • Autumn Rabe Richards ’97 and James Richards ’97 were married in Vivian Webb Chapel.

    Webb Sweethearts: Stories From Alumni Couples

    Danielle Gordon & Jessica Rice
    From high school sweethearts to alumni who were married in Vivian Webb Chapel, Webb has been the site of many romances over the years. Here are a few stories from alumni who met on Webb’s beautiful campus.
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  • Visual artist Rachel Lee Zheng '12

    Rachel Lee Zheng ’12 to Open First Solo Exhibition in NYC

    Jessica Rice ’12
    Using monofilament and LED spotlights, visual artist Rachel Lee Zheng ’12 creates large-scale installations that transform dark gallery spaces into meditative environments filled with lines and beams of color.
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  • The Week @ Webb - Together in January

    Scott Nichols
    The Week @ Webb is a periodic photojournal of events on and off Webb's campus. Did it feel like January lasted 31,000 days instead of just 31? I know that for me, it's important to spend as much time as I can with other people when life gets really busy. We all do better when we surround ourselves with friends and family and that's what I tried to capture in this latest gallery.
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  • Webb Completes CAIS/WASC Accreditation Process

    Taylor Stockdale
    Taking stock. This is how it begins—simply though completely. After more than a year of planning, gathering data, meeting, discussing, writing and rewriting—and after a four-day campus stay by our CAIS/WASC visiting committee (California Association of Independent Schools / Western Association of Schools and Colleges)—the evaluation work is done. 
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