Barbara J. Ryan, is the Secretariat Director of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) in Geneva, Switzerland. GEO is comprised of nearly 100 Member States, the European Commission, and 90 international scientific and technical partner organizations.
Since becoming Director of GEO in 2012, Ryan has worked to integrate Earth observation systems from around the world into a single, comprehensive system that uses coordinated data to understand how environmental factors impact human life.
Like Ryan’s career body of work, the system helps guide decision makers toward better agricultural, energy and land-use decisions. Under Ryan’s leadership, millions of satellite images and other Earth observation data have been made available to the general public at no charge, allowing scientists, planners and policy makers to make better-informed decisions on problems that transcend political boundaries. Her work addresses critical issues in agriculture, biodiversity, climate change, disaster planning, energy, health and water.