U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) development advisor to the Pentagon
Ryan McCannell is a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) development advisor to the Pentagon, detailed to the Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict directorate of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Policy.
USAID contributes to U.S. national security by improving the capacity of countries to prevent and mitigate sources of fragility, instability and conflict. The Defense Department supports the Department of State as the lead government agency working on stabilization issues, with USAID serving as the lead implementing agency.
From 2018 to 2022, Mr. McCannell directed the Center for Conflict and Violence Prevention and its predecessor, the Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation. Previously, he served as the USAID faculty instructor at the U.S. Army War College and senior advisor to the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) team at Carlisle Barracks, Pennsylvania. Earlier in his career with the Agency, he served as a democracy specialist, senior advisor, and division chief for Conflict, Peacebuilding and Governance in the USAID Bureau for Africa. Before joining USAID in 2004, Mr. McCannell spent eight years supporting African political development programs at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) in Washington D.C. In 2002-03, he served as NDI’s chief of party in Benin and Togo, where he organized training for political parties prior to elections in those two countries.
Mr. McCannell received a bachelor’s degree and certificate in African Studies from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service; a master’s in Geographic and Cartographic Sciences from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia; and a master’s in Strategic Studies, with distinction, from the U.S. Army War College.