Coordinator, Inter-Governmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC)

United States, Switzerland

LL.M, University of Cambridge
J.D., Georgetown University Law Center
B.A. in History and English, Tulane University

Kelly Ryan is the coordinator of the Inter-Governmental Consultations on Migration, Asylum and Refugees (IGC). The IGC is an informal, non-decision making forum for intergovernmental information exchange and policy debate on issues of relevance to the management of international migratory flows. The IGC brings together 17 Participating States, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration and the European Commission. The Participating States are Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States of America.

Previously, Kelly Ryan joined the DHS Office of Policy as Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Immigration in December 2010. She was responsible for DHS immigration policy oversight and development. Ms. Ryan also advises the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as a member of its advisory group of eminent persons. Ms Ryan was confirmed by the United States Senate on March 29, 2012 to be a Member of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Foundation.

From 2002-2009, she was a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. She developed U.S. government policies on refugee admissions, migration, and population issues. During her tenure at DOS she led inter-agency efforts to reform the United States refugee admissions program. She was a lead U.S. negotiator of the UN Convention on The Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She was the lead U.S. negotiator of a bilateral treaty with the Government of Canada on a “safe third country” agreement relating to allocation of asylum claims. She has concluded binding agreements with the governments of the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand.

From 1992–2002, Ms. Ryan practiced law, most recently as the chief of the Refugee and Asylum Division, Office of the General Counsel, Immigration and Naturalization Service. She directed the division responsible for advising the agency and the Department of Justice on issues involving immigration law and international protection under the U.S. legal system.

Ms Ryan has led U.S. delegations at numerous international meetings, and United Nations sessions, and events, including the United Nations Economic and Social Council; the UNHCR, UN Commission on Population; the UN Population Fund; and the 2006 High Level Dialogue on Migration. She has testified before various committees in the United States Congress and made numerous presentations before Congressional staff, academics, and immigration and human rights advocates and the public. She has presented U.S. positions here and abroad including at the United Kingdom’s House of Lords; Heritage Foundation; American Enterprise Institute, and Migration Policy Institute. She has made numerous appearances before major international and national print, television, radio and print media outlets including CNN, BBC, The Economist, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, National Public Radio, New York Times, Radio Free Asia, Univision, Christian Science Monitor, and the Los Angeles Times.

Ms. Ryan received a B.A. in History and English cum laude from Tulane University, a J.D. from Georgetown University and an LL.M with Honours from Cambridge University.