Lost in the furor over what Moscow did or did not do, and what effects it did or did not have, is the broader question of what this incident says about Russian intentions and aims. Just how unusual was it for great powers to interfere in a democracy’s electoral processes, and just how outraged should Americans be by the alleged activities?
Brigadier General Kevin Ryan (U.S. Army retired) is Director, Defense and Intelligence Projects at Harvard Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs.
A career military officer, he served in air and missile defense, intelligence, and political-military policy areas. From 1995 to 1996, he was head of the Moscow office of the POW/MIA Commission, searching for missing Americans in the former Soviet states. From 1998 to 2000, he served as Senior Regional Director for Slavic States in the Office of Secretary of Defense and, from 2001 to 2003, as Defense Attaché to Russia. He also served as Chief of Staff for the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command, an organization with diverse missions that include deployment of missile defenses, cyber assets, satellite management and research in areas like directed energy. He has commanded at every level from platoon to brigade and served in Europe, Korea, and Iraq. In his last duty assignment he was responsible for Army Strategic War Plans, Policy, and International Affairs and coordinated Army policy in the domestic interagency and with foreign allies.
Ryan holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Military Academy, a Masters degree in Russian Language and Literature from Syracuse University and, a Masters degree in National Security Strategy from the National War College. Ryan has been a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School's Shorenstein Center on Press, Politics and Public Policy and was Vice President for Business Development at iRobot Corporation. He is a member of the Board of the American Councils for International Education (ACTR/ACCELS) and a member of the Belfer Center Board of Directors. He is a member of the Kennedy School’s MPA Admissions Committee. Ryan was the founding director of the center's U.S.-Russia Initiative to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism, where he continues to facilitate U.S.-Russian cooperation and lead the “Elbe Group.” He was previously Executive Director for Research of the Belfer Center from 2010 to 2013. He is the author of over 20 articles and book chapters on various leadership and security topics. He and his wife Kathryn have five children.
In November 2013, Ryan was appointed as Civilian Aide to the Secretary of the Army, in the State of Massachusetts.
Main Areas of Expertise:
U.S.-Russian Security Relations – Fluent in Russian. Served as Senior Defense Attaché in Moscow from 2001 to 2003. Participated in U.S.-Russian negotiations and cooperation.
Missile Defense – Served as Chief of Staff of U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command and 29+ years in U.S. Army as Air Defense Officer.
Unmanned Ground Systems – Former Vice President for Business Development of iRobot Corporation's Government Division. Concentrated in unmanned ground systems for military and industrial applications.
Military Intelligence – Served in multiple intelligence assignments.Last Updated: Jan 6, 2017, 12:57pm