Dr. Ryan Kelsey

Dr. Ryan Kelsey is Chief Advisor to the President & CEO at Achieving the Dream, Inc. In this role, Ryan works to continue strengthening ATD’s internal capacity as an organization and its outreach to its network of colleges through strategic planning, the design of new products and services, and the scaling of key initiatives across the network.

Ryan comes to ATD from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust where he developed and managed a $45 million portfolio of grants focused on U.S. higher education, STEM learning, K-12 teacher preparation, and educational technology. As part of his work with grants, Ryan convened and supported experts on effective educational practices aimed at systemic improvement and formed networks of colleges and universities committed to campus-wide transformation, often with regional workforce and foundation partners. He was also a frequent speaker at national meetings on the importance of increasing the size and diversity of the STEM workforce. In addition to his focus on systemic change, his grants recognized the value of using external evaluations to increase project outcomes and help build the knowledge base in targeted areas. Of specific note, many of these investments supported work at America’s community colleges, including important ATD work with colleges in integrated planning and advising, labor marker alignment, and improving adjunct faculty engagement.

Before he joined the Helmsley Charitable Trust, Ryan spent more than a decade at the Columbia University Center for New Media Teaching and Learning, serving as Director of Projects and Associate Director of Education & Research. In those roles, he co-led the Center’s strategic planning and new programs. He also led the Center’s research and evaluation efforts, advising staff on evaluation methods and leading workshops for university faculty. He taught graduate courses in educational technology and instructional design at Teachers College, Columbia University, and at New York University as well as introductory undergraduate science at Columbia.

Ryan earned an Ed.D. and M.A. in Communication and Education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a B.S. in Biology from Santa Clara University.

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