Dr. Tim Ryan, president of The Culinary Institute of America (CIA), has been elected to the Board of Directors of the National Restaurant Association. Dr. Ryan's election to the board follows on the heels of his recent selection as one of the 50 most powerful people in the restaurant industry.
"I am pleased to help the industry that has given such support to the CIA and provided such great career opportunities to our graduates—myself included," says Dr. Ryan. "I started as a minimum wage dishwasher in my teenage years, and have been amazed at the doors that the restaurant industry, a great education, and hard work have opened for me since then. I look forward to this new role and the opportunity to contribute even more to the advancement of the industry that has helped me advance."
Dr. Ryan has served on the organization's Educational Foundation Board of Trustees since 2011. That same year he accepted the National Restaurant Association's Faces of Diversity Inspiration Award, on behalf of the college. The CIA was honored for its El Sueño initiative at the San Antonio campus. El Sueño's two-pronged mission is to provide a world-class culinary education to young Latinos to prepare them for leadership positions in the industry, and to elevate the quality and exposure of Latin cuisines to the American public.
"We are honored to have Dr. Ryan join the board of the National Restaurant Association," says Ken Conrad, 2014 board chairman. "We know Tim is dedicated to the future of our industry. His creativity and understanding of trends in foodservice, as well as his perspective as an educator, will make him a tremendous asset to the National Restaurant Association board as we address 21st century challenges."
In January, Dr. Ryan was named to the Nation's Restaurant News Power List, recognizing 50 people leading and shaping the food world. Dr. Ryan was honored in the category of "The Connectors: People who are bringing together ideas, talent, and funding in the restaurant industry."
Dr. Ryan is a 1977 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. His unique background includes being a Certified Master Chef, Culinary Olympics champion, and having an Ivy League degree. He earned his doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Ryan has been with the CIA since 1982, when he was recruited to serve on the faculty and develop and run the college's ground-breaking American Bounty Restaurant. He became the CIA's fifth president in 2001.