Nancy E. Ryan
Nancy Ryan is a 1971 summa cum laude graduate of Yale College and a member of the first class that included women. She received a Master’s Degree in History from Harvard in 1972 and then returned to Yale for law school. Upon graduating in 1975, she began working as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan under Robert M. Morgenthau. She remained at the D.A’s office until early 2010. Ms. Ryan spent most of her career in the Trial Division, which is responsible for the investigation and prosecution of all violent crime committed in New York County, as well as a vast array of other crimes. She served as a Senior Trial Counsel, the Chief of the Asian Gang Unit, and a Special Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York. In 1987 she was appointed Deputy Chief of the Trial Division, and was the Chief of the Division from 1990 until January of 2010. In 2002, she was in charge of the re-investigation of the “Central Park jogger case.” That case involved the convictions of five defendants in connection with a violent sexual assault and other crimes committed in Central Park in April of 1989. As a result of the re-investigation, the defendants’ convictions were vacated and the charges against them dismissed, on motion of the District Attorney. Since 2010, Ms. Ryan has worked as a consultant on criminal justice matters. Ms. Ryan joined the Board of PLS because as a career prosecutor, she believes that a commitment to fundamental fairness must extend to every phase of the criminal justice system.