Carnegie Mellon University

Kelly Ryan

Kelly Ryan

Army War College Fellow, Institute for Politics and Strategy

  • Posner 381A
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


Lieutenant Colonel Kelly Ryan, United States Army, is a proven leader and analyst with more than twenty-one years of active-duty experience in human resources, operations research, and the Department of Defense’s planning, programming, budget, and execution process. She has served at the tactical to strategic level, including combat, overseas, industry, and in the Pentagon. She is currently an Army War College fellow at Carnegie Mellon University's Institute for Politics and Strategy. 

Kelly graduated magna cum laude in 2001 from the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She was commissioned into Ordnance from the Panther Battalion (now Three Rivers Battalion) of the university’s Reserve Officer Training Corps program. Immediately following Ordnance Officer Basic Course, she transferred to the Adjutant General (AG) Corps and began her career as an AG officer with V Corps in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2003, then-First Lieutenant Ryan was selected as a personal assistant to the G1 (Personnel) for the United States Army, Europe. After that assignment, she became an executive officer for the 64th Replacement Battalion. During her time in Germany, she earned a Master of Business Administration from Cameron University. 

Following the AG Captains Career Course at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, Kelly returned to Germany to command the C Detachment, 38th Personnel Service Battalion. During this assignment, she deployed her unit into Kirkuk, Iraq, to support Operation Iraqi Freedom. After returning from a thirteen-month combat tour, she deactivated her unit and became the Operations Officer for the 38th Personnel Services Battalion. 

In 2008, Kelly returned stateside and became the liaison officer between Eighth United States Army in Korea and Human Resources Command in Alexandria, VA. The following year, she was selected as an Operations Research Systems Analyst (ORSA) and attended the Operations Research Systems Analyst Military Application course in Fort Lee, VA. By 2010, she had received a second Master’s degree, this time in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University, and a certificate from the International Institute of Forecasters. 

As a military ORSA, Kelly completed multiple Pentagon tours from 2011 to 2017, including as an officer strength forecaster for the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Personnel and as a force structure analyst for the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Resource Management. In 2016, she deployed a second time to Iraq to serve in Baghdad as an analyst for the Special Operations Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve. During her time as a major, she also completed Command and General Staff School Intermediate Level Education at Fort Belvoir, VA and the Operations Research Systems Analyst Qualification Course at Fort Lee, VA. 

The 2022 Army War College fellowship is Kelly’s third fellowship. In 2015, the Army selected her for a competitive Department of the Army six-week Strategic Broadening Seminar Program to the United Kingdom Defense Academy's Intermediate Command and Staff Course (Land) in Shrivenham, England. Then, in 2017, she served as a one-year industry fellow with Maxar (formerly Radiant Solutions and Digital Globe) where she learned to use geospatial data in artificial intelligence and machine learning applications. From this experience, Kelly was hand-selected in 2018 to set up the Army’s Artificial Intelligence Task Force (now Artificial Intelligence Integration Center) and then serve as its intelligence portfolio senior data scientist. In 2020, she became the Operations Analysis Division Chief and Senior Data Scientist at the Center for Army Analysis located at Fort Belvoir, VA. 

Kelly has earned a multitude of awards, including a Bronze Star Medal, a Defense Meritorious Service Medal, and six Meritorious Service Medals. She is a proud parent to two school-aged boys.