John Ryan is a recognised leader in public health and safety approaches to drugs.
John was the CEO of Anex, the predecessor organisation of Penington Institute, from 2000 until the formation of Penington Institute in 2013.
As CEO, John has contributed to a number of public policy changes, linking real world problems to policy solutions. These include expansion of overdose prevention programs including take home naloxone, increased access to and referral from needle and syringe programs as well as enhanced availability of opioid substitution programs.
John actively works to promote evidence-based responses to drug use in the community, media and with government and is currently a member of the Australian Government’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on Blood-Borne Viruses and Sexually Transmissable Infections, and the Premier of Victoria’s Ice Action Taskforce.
John was elected President of Harm Reduction International in late 2017 having served on the Board since 2014. Based in London, HRI is a leading non-governmental organisation working to reduce the negative health, social and human rights impacts of drug use and drug policy.
Previously, John has been a nonpartisan advisor to numerous governments and a board member of the Victorian Alcohol and Drug Association, drug user advocacy group VIVAIDS, West Heidelberg Community Legal Service and North Richmond Community Health Centre.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws from Monash University and in 2012 received a Churchill Fellowship to study ways to enhance public health approaches to drug policy.