Kevin Ryan is a father, husband, child advocate and sometime runner. Since 2009 he has served as the president and CEO of Covenant House, one of the largest charities across North and Central America serving children, youth and young families facing homelessness and human trafficking. In 2018 across 6 countries, Covenant House reached nearly 89,000 young lives.
Covenant House has expanded its housing and services to 31 cities, most recently opening new Covenant Houses in Chicago, IL; York, PA; Asbury Park, NJ; Grand Rapids, MI; and Berkeley, CA in 2017. Major expansions are currently underway in Mexico City, New York City and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Founded in 1972, Covenant House’s work has been recognized with several of the world's most distinguished human rights awards, including the Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Award, the WOLA Human Rights Prize and the Olof Palme Peace Prize.
To support this expansion, Kevin and his team have built an international Sleep Out movement, involving thousands of participants across the United States and Canada who raise funds to house, feed and help youth overcoming homelessness.
Kevin previously served as the first public Child Advocate in New Jersey and the first commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, as well as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Human Services. He drafted some of the State's most important laws for youth, including the New Jersey Homeless Youth Act and the Foster Care Scholars Act.
His first book, Almost Home, a collaboration with former New York Times reporter Tina Kelley, became a national bestseller in the Fall of 2012. The book tells the stories of 6 teenagers as they faced homelessness, violence and heartbreak in search of a place to call home. In 2015, President Barack Obama appointed Kevin to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In 2018, Kevin joined President Trump in the Oval Office to witness the signing of human trafficking legislation that Kevin and Covenant House had championed for many years.
He is a graduate of Catholic University, Georgetown Law Center and NYU Law School. A former Skadden Fellow and Wasserstein Fellow at Harvard Law School, Kevin's media appearances on behalf of children include the TODAY Show, CBS This Morning, CNN, MSNBC, EWTN, Good Morning America and two stints on 60 Minutes.
He rarely misses an opportunity to say “the least interesting thing about our kids is homelessness.” And watching them rise with grace and grit to embrace the great promise of their lives, he is exactly right.