Professor Ryan Shaw serves as Senior Advisor to Arizona State University President Michael Crow and Managing Director of Strategic Initiatives. Prior to joining ASU, Ryan was an officer in the U.S. Army. He earned his commission from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, where he majored in American Politics. After early service as an armor officer—including commanding a cavalry troop in the Anbar Province of Iraq—he earned an MA in History from Yale University and returned to West Point as an Assistant Professor of American History. For the remainder of his uniformed service, Ryan was an Army Strategist, leading strategic planning and assessment efforts and providing strategic advice to leaders at the highest levels of U.S. and multi-national military organizations.
At NORAD and U.S. Northern Command, he led planning for DoD support to civil authorities for disaster scenarios such as a catastrophic California earthquake and Gulf Coast hurricane. He also served as strategic advisor to the Commander, supporting efforts across the mission sets of homeland defense, civil support, and military relations with Canada, Mexico, and the Bahamas.
Ryan served as Deputy Chief of Plans and Assessments in the Office of the United States Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority in Jerusalem. In this capacity, he led a revision of the multinational strategy for support to the Palestinian Authority Security Forces and the first-ever assessment program for international endorsement of PASF capabilities. He was also strategic advisor to the three-star Security Coordinator, supporting all engagements with the U.S. and Israeli governments, the Palestinian Authority, and international stakeholders.
Most recently, Ryan was Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He served as lead planner and author for the Chairman’s communications with domestic and foreign audiences, including Congressional testimony and Presidential advice. He also directed and contributed to special projects, including a seminal “failure assessment” of U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and a review of civilian casualties in the counter-ISIS campaign.
A graduate of strategic education programs at Yale University and the U.S. Army War College, Ryan is a doctoral candidate at Yale and has published in the fields of grand strategy, strategic theory, and history.