Michael C. Ryan serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for European and NATO Policy. He assumed this position on October 3, 2019. In this role he supports the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs by developing international security strategies and policies of DoD interest that relate to the nations and international organizations of Europe and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Mr. Ryan is responsible for efforts to expand partnerships and deepen defense cooperation with 36 nations.
Mr. Ryan brings almost four decades of public and private sector experience to this position, including over 25 years of service in the U.S. Air Force, as well as 10 years of Senior Executive service at the U.S. Mission to NATO, the U.S. Mission to the EU, both in Brussels, Belgium, and at Headquarters, U.S. European Command, Stuttgart, Germany. During his Air Force career Mr. Ryan flew the A-10 Thunderbolt II in Europe, was a National Defense Fellow with Congress, served as the Country Director for Russia in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, graduated from the French War College in Paris, and served as the Military Advisor to the Secretary of Defense’s Representative to Europe. Subsequently, he was the Defense Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the EU then a Deputy Director for Policy, Plans, Strategy, Capabilities and Resources (J-5/8) at European Command before his promotion to Director, Interagency Partnering / Director, Joint Interagency Counter-Trafficking Center (J-9) also in Stuttgart.
In the private sector, Mr. Ryan served as the Managing Director, Carrolltown Monastery, a start-up in the hospitality industry, as a member of the Growth and Strategic Advisory Team at Vectrus, and as the Vice Chairman of the Carrolltown Municipal Authority Board. Mr. Ryan has lectured extensively during his career most recently at Mount Aloysius College in Pennsylvania where he taught Russian History as well as World Affairs.
Mr. Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Soviet Studies from the U.S. Air Force Academy and a Master of Science in International Relations from Troy University.