President and CEO, Covenant House
Kevin Ryan serves as the President and CEO of Covenant House International, the largest privately-funded agency in the Americas, serving 70,000 homeless youth annually in 21 cities throughout the United States, Canada, Honduras, Mexico and Nicaragua. He forged his commitment to homeless youth as an advocate and counsel to teens in crisis through a decade of work at Covenant House in New York City’s Times Square, the South Bronx, Newark and Atlantic City from 1992 to 2002.
Kevin Ryan has committed his life and career to serve as an advocate for youth, including several prominent government leadership positions and an extensive history protecting homeless youth. He was named New Jersey’s first Child Advocate in 2003. As New Jersey Child Advocate, Kevin Ryan’s work shed significant light on the illegal detention of children awaiting mental health care and the dangerous overcrowding of juvenile residential centers. He helped to craft some of New Jersey’s most important laws, including the New Jersey Homeless Youth Act in 1999, the New Jersey Family Care Health Coverage Act in 2000 and the creation of the New Jersey Foster Care Scholars Program in 2003. Kevin Ryan was tapped by Governor Jon Corzine in 2006 to lead a reform of the State’s child welfare system.
He has taught in law schools in both New York and New Jersey, written extensively in the field, and served as a national expert on adolescent best practices and public system reform. He has testified before Congress and appeared in various print and television media, including 60 Minutes, the Today Show, Anderson Cooper 360, Newsnight, The New York Times, Washington Post, and Philadelphia Inquirer. Kevin has received numerous awards and honors, including the United States Commissioner’s National Award; Harvard’s Wasserstein Fellowship and the Skadden Fellowship.
Kevin graduated from The Catholic University of America Summa Cum Laude, received his Juris Doctor from Georgetown, and his Masters of Law from New York University. A native of New Jersey, Ryan currently resides in Fair Haven, NJ with his six children and his wife Clare, who was a member of Faith Community, Covenant House’s full-time volunteer program.