Prof. Ryan is a Kenyan born economist who studied in Trinity College, Dublin and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lectured in the University of Nairobi until 1983 when he was appointed Director of Planning in the Ministry of Planning and National Development of the Kenya Government. In 1988 he became the first Economic Secretary in the Ministry of Finance of the Kenya Government. Following his retirement from the Kenyan Civil Service in 1995, he has been appointed to various posts requiring his experience and expertise. These include the Commission for Higher Education, the Local Committee for Income Tax Appeals and the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Kenya.
He is currently the Chairman of the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics. He was also Chairman of the Micro and Small Enterprise Task Force. He has done consultancy work for the World Bank, UNDP, the Organization for African Union and the Economic Commission for Africa of the European Union. He has been advisor on fiscal considerations to Treasuries in Southern Africa He has been a long serving Resource Person for the African Economic Research Consortium casinos. He was Chairman of Governing Council of Strathmore University in Nairobi for 14 years during which the University came into being; he maintains his link with Strathmore by being a Member of the Advisory Committee of the Strathmore Business School.