Mike Ryan ’78 Brings Experiences from Career Abroad Home to Western PA

Michael C. Ryan ’78 is technically retired. After living and working abroad for a remarkable career in the military and international relations, he’s back home in western PA, finding plenty of opportunities to stay busy and share his expertise. 

In his ‘retirement,’ Mike Ryan ’78 is an adjunct faculty member at Mount Aloysius College, serving as course director for the History & Politics of Russia and lecturer on Comparative Politics. His impressive education and career biography (read it below!) proves he has a vast amount of experience and expertise to share with students. 

In addition, he continues to lecture internationally and holds the position of Managing Director for the Carrolltown Monastery rejuvenation project working with his sister Judy ’75 and their respective spouses. Mike splits his time between Carrolltown and Windber. 

Mike just completed a new mission: a tour of Scotland’s golf courses with his good friend Ron Bruce ’78 and several others. Mike and Ron were members of the Husky golf team at BC. 

Thanks to Mike’s sister Judy Ryan Nathan ’75 for sending this alumni update on behalf of her brother! 

What’s your story? Share it with your fellow Huskies online or submit it to Annalisa McCann in the alumni office at mccann.annalisa@bishopcarroll.org. 

Mr. Michael C. Ryan Career Biography 

Mr. Michael C. Ryan was the Director, Interagency Partnering, ECJ-9, Headquarters U.S. European Command, Stuttgart-Vaihingen, Germany. As the Director, he exercised responsibilities for integrating interagency, academia, nongovernmental, international organizations and private sector partners to better execute US European Command’s mission to sustain strategic partnerships and support enduring peace and stability in Europe and Eurasia through a “Whole of Society” approach. 

Mike joined the Senior Executive Service of the Department of Defense in 2007 following a 25-year career in the US Air Force having retired as a Colonel. He was commissioned in 1982 from the U.S. Air Force Academy. He is a distinguished graduate of the Joint Military Intelligence College, was a National Defense Fellow with Congress, and attended the Collège interarmèe de défense in Paris France. His assignments included flying duties as an instructor pilot, flight commander, Red Flag mission commander, and assistant director of operations in the A-10A. Mike’s history also includes his assignment as a Fighter Pilot at 509th TFS, 78th TFS, Det 1 81st TFW, and elsewhere. 

His staff assignments included the Command Action Group in Air Education and Training Command and a tour in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Country Director for Russia. Mike served seven years in Brussels, Belgium first as the Military Advisor to the Secretary of Defense Representative, Europe at the US Mission to NATO and then as the Defense Advisor to the US Ambassador to the European Union.

Prior to assuming his position as Director, Mike was a Deputy Director in the ECJ-5/8 at U.S. European Command where he was responsible for the command’s security cooperation program overseeing 39 Offices of Defense Cooperation throughout Europe and the Caucasus. Mike also served as Department Director at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany. Mike has taught extensively in the United States and Europe and continues to do so as a motivational speaker and lecturer. 

Mike has published various works including: 

  • Military Pilot Retention: Issues and Options. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 11 September 1998. 
  • Military Readiness: Congressional Issues Regarding Tiered Readiness with Michael A. Longoria. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, 31 August 1998. 
  • Military Readiness, Operations Tempo and Personnel Tempo: Are US Force Doing Too Much? Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service, January 1998. 

Mike earned a master’s degree in International Relations from Troy State University, a bachelor’s degree in Soviet Area Studies / History / Russian Language from the United States Air Force Academy as well as completing other military, national and international training while on active duty and after his retirement. Mr. Ryan is fluent in the English, German, French, and Russian languages. 

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