James E. Ryan (educator)

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James E. Ryan
9th President of the University of Virginia
Assumed office
August 1, 2018 (2018-08-01)
Preceded by Teresa A. Sullivan
Dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education
In office
September 1, 2013 – June 30, 2018
Preceded by Kathleen McCartney
Succeeded by Bridget Terry Long
Personal details
Born James Edward Ryan
1966/1967 (age 51–52)
Spouse(s) Katie Homer Ryan
Alma mater Yale University (BA)
University of Virginia (JD)
Profession Dean, Professor, Lawyer
Website Office of the President

James Edward Ryan is an American educator, author, lawyer, and legal scholar.[1] A graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and distinguished professor, Ryan took office as the 9th President of the University of Virginia on August 1st, 2018.

Previously, he served as 11th dean of the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Charles William Eliot Professor of Education.[2][3] He was installed as dean on July 1, 2013, succeeding Kathleen McCartney.[2] He is also the author of Wait, What?: And Life's Other Essential Questions[4][5] and Five Miles Away, A World Apart: One City, Two Schools, and the Story of Educational Opportunity in Modern America.[3] On September 15, 2017, it was announced that he would replace Teresa Sullivan as the ninth President of the University of Virginia.[6]


Prior to serving as dean of Harvard Graduate School of Education, Ryan was the Matheson and Morgenthau Distinguished Professor of law and Weber Research Professor of civil liberties and human rights at the University of Virginia School of Law.[3] He graduated from Yale University and University of Virginia School of Law, and clerked for then-chief judge of the 9th Circuit J. Clifford Wallace and then-Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist.[3]

Ryan lives in Lincoln, MA with his wife, four children, and various animals including two cats, two dogs, and nine chickens.[7]


  1. ^ "James E. Ryan". scholar.google.com. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Harvard Graduate School of Education's New Dean Announced". Harvard Magazine. 2013-06-10. Retrieved 2017-05-06. 
  3. ^ a b c d "UVA Law Professor Named Dean of Harvard Education School". University of Virginia School of Law. 2013-06-09. Retrieved 2017-05-06. 
  4. ^ "How A Harvard Dean's Commencement Speech On Life's Big Questions Went Viral". www.wbur.org. Retrieved 2017-06-13. 
  5. ^ Harvard dean on book inspired by his popular graduation speech, retrieved 2017-06-13 
  6. ^ McCance, McGregor (September 15, 2017). "UVA Today: Board of Visitors Selects James E. Ryan as University of Virginia's Next President". news.virginia.edu. Retrieved September 15, 2017. 
  7. ^ "5 Essential Questions for Success". Uloop. Retrieved 2017-05-06. 

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