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CCL President and CEO John R. Ryan To Step Down; Search for Next Leader Underway

image of CCL President and CEO John R. Ryan next to CCL logo in announcement that John R. Ryan will step down from CCL

After serving as President and CEO of the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL®) for more than 14 years, John R. Ryan will step down by the end of this calendar year. The international search for his successor begins today.

Since becoming its top executive in June 2007, Ryan has overseen the global expansion of CCL, which operates 9 offices in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America. CCL reaches tens of thousands of individual leaders and organizations annually through a mix of highly ranked programs and coaching solutions, along with a rapidly growing array of digital and licensing offerings.

Regarded for decades among the world’s best providers of face-to-face leadership development, CCL developed a full portfolio of virtual offerings during the pandemic that earns high ratings from clients. During Ryan’s tenure, CCL has also built on its longstanding reputation for world-class research with a focus on such areas as data analytics, artificial intelligence, and equity, diversity, and inclusion. A strategic commitment to talent, partnerships, and technology has been central to Ryan’s approach in carrying out CCL’s mission to “advance the understanding, practice, and development of leadership for the benefit of society worldwide.”

“As only the sixth CEO in CCL’s 51-year history, John has set an extraordinarily high bar for his successor while also ensuring that our next CEO will inherit a growing, vibrant CCL that is home to our innovative and dedicated employees and associates,” CCL Board of Trustees Chair Peter Richardson said.

CCL Board of Governors Chair Ingar Skaug added: “John’s tireless, inspired service on behalf of CCL and our mission has not only led us through the extreme challenges of the pandemic era; it has also positioned CCL to impact countless lives and organizations in every corner of the world for years to come.”

Prior to joining CCL, Ryan spent 35 years in the U.S. Navy, retiring as a Vice Admiral and serving as Superintendent (President) of the U.S. Naval Academy. He then took on a series of senior leadership roles in the State University of New York system, ultimately serving as Chancellor of the entire 64-campus system. He served as a CCL Board member before becoming President and CEO.

“Furthering CCL’s mission in partnership with a strongly supportive Board and my very talented colleagues around the world has been among the greatest privileges of my career,” Ryan said. “CCL is blessed with the opportunity each day to change lives and make organizations better; our future is very bright and the need for our services in a complex, volatile world is more urgent than ever.”

A search committee led by CCL Board Vice Chair Cutler Dawson will oversee the process of finding Ryan’s replacement. Information on the role can be viewed in the job description.

About the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL)®

CCL is a top-ranked, global provider of leadership development. Learn more about CCL.

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