Ryan studies political science, philosophy, and Asian studies. A Truman Scholar and social activist, he is interested in peace and conflict processes. He has worked extensively in Burma and Thailand amidst civil war, sectarian violence, and forced migration. His research and reportage as an investigator, photographer, and documentary filmmaker have been widely published by international news and humanitarian organizations. He plans to strengthen his regional expertise in South East Asia by studying politics, history, and Burmese language at the School of Oriental and African Studies.