Ryan is originally from Kenmare, North Dakota where his family owned and operated a small business. He went on to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of North Dakota where he graduated with honors. After college, Ryan worked in Minneapolis for PriceWaterhouseCoopers as a financial auditor. In this role he traveled the country gaining exposure to a variety of companies ranging from manufacturing, financial institutions and energy firms.
Ryan returned to North Dakota in 2008 to work for the ND Department of Commerce as the Manager of Energy Development. In this role he worked to recruit energy related businesses to the state and assisted in staffing the state's energy policy commission (EmPower ND). Ryan worked with businesses in both the renewable energy sector and the fossil fuel sector. In 2009 Ryan was appointed the Deputy Tax Commissioner for the state. He was in charge of managing legislative policy, tax administration and economic development projects.
Ryan was appointed the State Tax Commissioner by Governor Jack Dalrymple in January 2014. He was elected Tax Commissioner in 2014 and re-elected to the position in 2018. As Tax Commissioner he worked closely with the legislature and the Governor to ensure sound tax policy and administrative policy were practiced. Much of Ryan's work with the legislature included crafting energy taxation policy with both the fossil fuel and renewable energy sectors. He was also heavily involved in drafting tax relief legislation and working with the Governor and the legislature to ensure the legislation contained sound policy and effective administration.
In 2022, Ryan joined the firm Rauschenberger Consulting, LLC where he provides strategic business consulting services including tax consulting and business development services.