The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs will host a Director's Lunch with Kevin Ryan, Director of the Defense and Intelligence Project at the Belfer Center, in the Belfer Center Library (L369).

With US-Russia relations breaking over Ukraine, the Elbe Group (former US and Russian generals) may be the only strategic dialogue going on below the level of the President and Secretary of State. Elbe organizer BG (ret) Kevin Ryan reports on the group's discussions in Morocco 19-22 March.

The Elbe Group are senior retired military and intelligence flag officers from the United States and Russia: an unprecedented gathering of three and four star veterans from the FSB, GRU, CIA, DIA, Ministry of Defense and Department of Defense.  The purpose of the “Elbe Group” is to maintain an open and continuous channel of communication on sensitive issues of US-Russian relations.

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.


As space is limited for this event, RSVPs will be accepted on a first come, first served basis. Belfer Center Lunches are strictly off-the-record. By requesting to attend the lunch, you agree that you will comply with the Belfer Center's strict policy against recording or disclosing the contents of the lunch. Your access is conditioned on your compliance with these restrictions. Should you violate these rules, the Center will pursue all available legal options and you will be excluded from all future events.