Frederick J. Ryan, Jr. is Chairman of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute and is leading the launch of the new Center on Public Civility. From 2014-2023, he served as Publisher and CEO of the Washington Post and led its transformation from a local newspaper to a global digital news organization. During his time at The Washington Post, it was recognized for excellence in journalism with 13 Pulitzer Prizes and twice named by Fast Company Magazine as the “World’s Most Innovative Media Company.”
He previously was Co-Founder and CEO of POLITICO, which won a Pulitzer Prize and was also named “World’s Most Innovative Media Company” under his leadership.
From 1989 until 1995, he served as Chief of Staff to former President Ronald Reagan. He was responsible for overseeing all of President Reagan’s activities including domestic and international issues, government relations, political affairs and public relations. He served as President Reagan’s personal representative in numerous meetings with Heads of State around the world, as well as leaders of the international business community.
From 1982 to 1989, Mr. Ryan served on the White House Staff, and was Assistant to the President of the United States, one of the youngest people ever to serve in such a position. His responsibilities in the White House included directing Presidential Appointments and Scheduling, where he was involved in long-range strategic planning and communications strategy for the White House.
Mr. Ryan also served as Director of the White House Private Sector Initiatives program where he was the President’s liaison to the American and international business communities. He conceived and directed the International Conference on Private Sector Initiatives (Paris, France 1986), the Italian-American Conference on Private Sector Initiatives (Milan and Venice, Italy 1987) and the British-American Conference on Private Sector Initiatives (London, England 1988). These unique gatherings included Chief Executive Officers of major international corporations, the Prime Ministers of France and England, the President of the United States and His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.
Prior to joining the White House Staff, Mr. Ryan was an attorney with the Los Angeles law firm of Hill, Farrer & Burrill. While engaged in his practice, he published several articles on various aspects of the law. He is presently a member in good standing of the State Bar of California, the District of Columbia Bar and is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Ryan serves as Chairman of the White House Endowment and Acquisition Trust. He is also a member of the board of trustees of several other nonprofit organizations including the University of Southern California, the Ford’s Theatre Society, The National Geographic Society, the Board of Councilors of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and is a member of the Smithsonian Institution’s Strategy, Innovation, and Technology Committee.
Publications by Mr. Ryan include Wine in the White House, published by the White House Historical Association in 2020. He was also the editor of Ronald Reagan: The Wisdom and Humor of The Great Communicator, published by Harper Collins in 1995, and Ronald Reagan: The Great Communicator, published by Harper Collins in 2001. He was Executive Producer of the highly acclaimed video of the Reagan Presidency, entitled The Reagan Years.
Mr. Ryan graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Speech Communication. He then attended the University of Southern California Law Center where he received his Juris Doctor and graduated with an academic honor in 1980.