thinker maker doer…Public Policy

“Dr. Ryan does not say “no,” “maybe,” or “later.” She embodies “yes,” “always,” and “now.”  She has worked tirelessly to bring scientific evidence to inform policy and mental health intervention efforts.” 

Prof. Roxane Cohen Silver, PhD, Department of Psychology & Social Behavior, University of California Irvine

An experienced leader of numerous pioneering international, national and state public policy initiatives, Dr. Ryan’s body of work as Managing Director of Issues Deliberation Australia/America includes national Deliberative Polls to build understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims; Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians; and Whether or not Australia should become a Republic; as well as South Australia’s Constitutional Convention on Parliamentary Reform, International Assemblies on Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror.

As Executive Chair of Psychology Beyond Borders – an international NGO dedicated to evidence-based prevention, response and recovery in communities affected psychosocially by natural disaster, armed conflict or terrorism – Dr. Ryan leads the team in bringing together vibrant communities of interdisciplinary and international problem solvers for initiatives in areas such as children associated with armed forces, psychosocial strategies for managing responses to repeated disasters, “doing no further harm,” and the psychology of microfinance, among many others. Dr. Ryan’s work with Psychology Beyond Borders has taken her to the post-conflict zones in Uganda; the beaches of Sri Lanka in the wake of the tsunami; Ground Zero in New York City; the hillside refugee camps of Haiti; the hospitals of Ethiopia; and the rubbled streets of post-Katrina New Orleans.