In 2011, Ryan worked as a researcher for Oxford University’s Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment on a project to help the Government of Rwanda develop a National Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy. Ryan was based in Rwanda’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and consulted officials across the government on financing renewable energy technologies and on opportunities to secure international sources of climate finance.
Ryan holds a DPhil/PhD from the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. His doctoral research examined the factors that drive and inhibit economic change in response to climate change, both in terms of adaptation and mitigation. On adaptation, Ryan worked with the NGO Caribsave on its GIVRAPD project, which assessed the vulnerability of small island communities to climate change. On mitigation, he conducted fieldwork on low-carbon economic shifts in Brazil, including the country’s reduced deforestation rates in the Amazon and its successful promotion of no-till agriculture and biofuels.
Ryan also holds a MSc in international development management from the London School of Economics. For his dissertation on ‘Promoting diffusion of solar lanterns with microfinance and carbon finance,’ he led a research project with the microfinance institution FINCA-Uganda. The project assessed demand for solar lanterns in rural Uganda and examined the potential for FINCA's solar loan programme to generate carbon credits.