Since the 1980s, Liz Ryan has excelled as an acclaimed producer and director through her eponymously named company, Ryanworks, Inc. After beginning her professional journey as a financial analyst at Morgan Stanley in New York City, Ms. Ryan desired to transition career paths to the arts and entertainment field. She trained as a producer through the Director’s Guild of America, having graduated from the program in 1985. She also draws upon a Bachelor of Arts in sociology from Harvard University, who bestowed upon her their Captain Jonathan Say Award upon her graduation in 1981.
Over the course of her prolific career, Ms. Ryan has served as a director, assistant director, production manager and producer to a myriad of films and television series. With over 70 film and television credits to her name, she has participated in the production of numerous films, such as “The Green Mile,” “Alien III,” “Brokedown Palace” and “Waiting for Guffman.” Notably, she worked as an assistant director on the pilot episode of the award-winning television series “The Office,” during which time she contributed to the show’s success by helping design the production format. Likewise, Ms. Ryan worked on “NYPD Blue” and “All American: Homecoming,” the latter of which premiered on the CW and Netflix in February 2022.
As a testament to her resounding success in the industry, Ms. Ryan has received several accolades. Among them, she won the Frank Capra Award in 2008 and the Director’s Guild Award for her work on “NYPD Blue” in 1996, both from the Director’s Guild of America. She has also maintained membership with the national board of the Director’s Guild of America for a decade, having also been a board member of the Director’s Guild’s producer training program for 20 years. Additionally, Ms. Ryan is a member of the Alliance of Women Directors and Women in Media.
Ms. Ryan attributes much of her success to her diligent work ethic and the support and encouragement she has received from her family over the decades. Looking toward the future, she intends to continue working on larger film projects. To this end, she would like to orient her focus more on hiring female actresses and minority populations to create a diversified and inclusive environment among the film and television industries.