Frederick Ryan Jr., CEO of The Washington Post and former top aide to President Ronald Reagan, joined the USC Board of Trustees on Wednesday. Ryan, who graduated from USC with a double major in political science and speech communication in 1977 and earned a juris doctor three years later, was elected to the board after a career in journalism and politics.
Ryan worked as an attorney before serving in the White House from 1982 to 1989. Beginning in 1995, he served as president of Allbritton Communications, a group of cable television stations. Ryan then co-founded Politico, a Pulitzer Prize-winning political journalism company that focuses on Washington, D.C. He served as CEO of Politico until 2014, when he was appointed CEO of The Washington Post. Ryan was selected by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who acquired the publication in 2013.
“Fred Ryan is an extraordinary media entrepreneur, political adviser and public servant, having distinguished himself in both the White House and in the communications world,” said President C. L. Max Nikias to USC News. “In recent decades, Mr. Ryan has drawn tremendous admiration for boldly redefining the role of media and for reimagining political journalism. His vast experience and exceptional vision will certainly benefit our board in profound ways.”
Throughout his career, Ryan has stayed involved with USC, serving on the board of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and was awarded with the USC Alumni Association’s Alumni Merit Award in 2005.
“When I first came to D.C., USC was certainly known and respected, but in the last few years, its presence here and the appreciation and admiration for what the University does has grown enormously,” Ryan said to USC News. “As a proud Trojan, that’s been great to see.”