Ryan Ring, MPA

Portrait of Ryan RingContact Ryan


Green Bay, Wisconsin

Undergraduate education

Bachelor’s degree in finance with a minor in political science, University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire

Professional/research interests

Public finance and taxes, public administration, and regulatory reform

Expected graduation date

May 2025

Why an MPA?

Since my time as an undergraduate, I have always been interested in government and policy. As the Traditional Student Regent on the UW System Board of Regents, my interest and passion for public policy grew. This ultimately led me to work on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., and in the Wisconsin State Legislature to learn more about the policymaking process. It was the culmination of these experiences that made me decide to further my education and pursue an MPA.

Why the La Follette School?

Ultimately, I chose La Follette for the proximity of the campus to the Capitol, where I currently work, and for the national reputation of the La Follette School and its faculty. It was also very clear to me that La Follette alumni are very engaged and connected with La Follette students and are committed to helping students find their passion and future careers.

Career goals

I would like to continue working in the public policy profession but with a focus on government consulting or public administration.

Work experience

I work full-time at the Wisconsin State Legislature as a legislative aide for a State Representative who is a member of the Joint Committee on Finance. During the biennial budget process, my main priorities included analyzing Wisconsin’s proposed budget. It largely included reading and evaluating proposals for increased investments in certain state government programs, agencies, and other operational functions of government. Beyond the budget policy duties, my job includes advancing certain pieces of legislation proposed by my boss through the legislative process. It also includes other legislative office duties such as constituent outreach.

La Follette mentors

There were two La Follette School alumni, Michael Lucky and David Specht-Boardman, who encouraged me to get my MPA. They both worked in the Wisconsin State Capitol while also attending the La Follette School and made me see the value in pursing an MPA. One of the biggest things they told me was that La Follette will help you be a better consumer of information and help you analyze, think, and write better especially when it comes to public policy.

Advice for prospective La Follette School students

My biggest piece of advice for prospective La Follette School students is to be open minded and think about your future career path. One of the best aspects of the La Follette School has been the large pool of alumni in many different areas who are all committed to the success of the school and especially to La Follette students.

Most challenging La Follette School experience

The most challenging experience has been getting back into the swing of studying and course work. When you have been out of school for a few years, some of those skills you built up get rusty.

Most rewarding La Follette School experience

The most rewarding experience has been getting to know my cohort and the faculty. It truly is a community at La Follette.

How has the La Follette School changed the way you think about public policy?

It has made me realize that there are many aspects to public policy and that there is never one solution to a problem, nor should there be. Public policy is a complex arena with many different layers and La Follette has taught me that you won’t have all the answers but the education and skills you will gain better prepare you to face those challenges of public policy when they come up. It also has made me think about policy from a different lens.

Wisconsin Idea

Growing up in Wisconsin and attending a UW System school, the Wisconsin Idea has always been a part of my life. In some ways, being the first one in my family to attend a four-year institution and go to graduate school, I am a product of the Wisconsin Idea.

Before La Follette

I worked in Washington, D.C., for Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner. I also served as a Regent on the University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents while I was a student at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.

Anything else?

I enjoy golfing and reading and researching about random history in my free time. I am also an avid Wisconsin sports fan — all things Packers, Brewers, Bucks, and the Badgers!

Interested in studying at the La Follette School?

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