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President and CEO John Ryan Retires After 12 Years on Board and Three as President and CEO

Alexandria, Va., Mar. 19, 2015 –John Ryan announced his retirement today and is stepping down as president and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, effective today. Ryan, 61, led the organization since June, 2012 after serving more than 12 years on its board, most recently as chairman. In 2012, Ryan was asked by the NCMEC board to lead the organization after its long-time president, CEO and founding chairman retired. Linda Krieg, NCMEC's chief operating officer, will serve as acting CEO while the organization’s board of directors launches a nationwide search for Ryan's successor.

Since becoming president and CEO, Ryan led a campaign to fight child sex trafficking in this country, raising awareness with Congress and a multitude of organizations. As the sale of children for sex shifted from the streets to the Internet – through online classified sites like – Ryan led a crusade to help stop the sexual assault of children. “Defenseless children in this country need help,” Ryan said. "It's unacceptable that the most vulnerable in our society have become victims and their innocence lost."

In 2013, after the Penn State Jerry Sandusky scandal, Ryan spearheaded "Safe to Compete: Protecting Child Athletes from Sexual Abuse." The summit, co-hosted by the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, brought together youth-sports organizations and issue experts to discuss child sexual abuse prevention. This national summit, held at NCMEC's headquarters, brought attention to this issue. Attending the event were many national youth organizations, who have made protecting child athletes from any kind of abuse, their top priority.

"John's commitment to America's children throughout his career – and in particular to the mission of NCMEC – is greatly appreciated,” said John Walsh, NCMEC's co-founder, long-time victims' advocate and TV host. "We thank him for dedicating so many years to our cause."

Before joining NCMEC, Ryan worked for 16 years with AOL Inc. as senior vice president and deputy general counsel. While at AOL Inc. Ryan led the Public Safety & Criminal Investigations Unit and served as a liaison with law enforcement. There, he coordinated investigations and prosecutions of criminal activities, including Internet crimes against children. Prior to joining AOL Inc. Ryan was the director of investigations at AT&T Wireless in New York. He also worked for 14 years at the Office of the Bronx District Attorney, New York, where he served as special assistant district attorney and chair of the organized crime task force.

About the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is the leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working with law enforcement, families and the professionals who serve them on issues relating to missing and sexually exploited children. Established in 1984 and authorized by Congress to serve as the nation’s clearinghouse on these issues, NCMEC operates a hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST® (1-800-843-5678), and has assisted law enforcement in the recovery of more than 205,550 children. NCMEC also operates the CyberTipline, a mechanism for reporting child pornography, child sex trafficking and other forms of child sexual exploitation. Since it was created in 1998, more than 3.3 million reports of suspected child sexual exploitation have been received, and more than 132 million suspected child pornography images have been reviewed. NCMEC works in partnership with the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. To learn more about NCMEC, visit Follow NCMEC on Twitter and like NCMEC on Facebook.

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children


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