Ryan has been Chief Executive of Demelza since 2015. He has worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years, with much of this time spent delivering services to vulnerable people, and alongside service users, families and carers, campaigning for their rights and dignity.
Prior to joining Demelza Ryan was Chief Executive of a large healthcare charity providing substance misuse and mental health services to adults and young people. Before this he held a senior role developing and implementing drug and alcohol programmes in the criminal justice system. Earlier in his career, Ryan had a role at Age Concern England which fostered service development nationally, and previously to that was Chief Executive of a local Age Concern organisation. In this role he designed and launched an advice service with Secretary of State approval, which was the UK’s first ever joint national government, local authority, voluntary sector delivery partnership.
Up until 2018, Ryan was also Chair of Mind, the leading national mental health charity, and has overseen Mind’s governance at a time of unprecedented development in the challenging of stigma around mental illness, and increased public and political attention on the nation’s mental health. In June 2018 he was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for his services to improving mental health provision in England and Wales.
Ryan’s areas of expertise include service design and development, working collaboratively across voluntary and statutory sectors, and models of governance. He is particularly interested in how services work with, and are directed by, the more important informal support networks that exist within families, communities and social groups. He has a Degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of Hull, a Postgraduate Certificate in Managing Voluntary and Non-Profit Enterprises, and a Postgraduate Diploma in Corporate Directorship. He is a guest lecturer at the University of Newcastle.
Ryan has been an expert adviser to several government and academic bodies on the development of health services, was author of the Department of Health’s guidance to commissioning the Third Sector (2006), and was a panel adviser and taskforce member to the Department of Health’s guidance on High Impact Changes in Health and Social Care (2008). He was also UK representative to the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse.
Ryan has a partner and two young children, and is peripatetic between Demelza’s services, which means he mainly lives on the M25.