Ryan Richards is a senior policy analyst for Public Lands at American Progress, focusing on natural resource economics and markets. His work covers a variety of environmental policy topics, including water policy, ecosystem restoration, and private lands conservation. 

Prior to joining American Progress, Richards worked on wildlife conservation projects domestically and internationally. Most recently, he conducted his doctoral research on incentive programs to encourage reforestation on farms in the watershed supplying drinking water for the city of São Paulo. He was a Fulbright visiting researcher at the University of São Paulo’s Luiz de Queiroz College of Agriculture and the Instituto de Pesquisas Ecológicas in Brazil.

He spent six years with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute as a graduate research fellow and a program associate for the Global Tiger Initiative. He has also worked on habitat restoration projects with farmers in Namibia and California’s Central Valley.

He is a doctoral candidate in environmental science and public policy at George Mason University. He has an M.S. in conservation biology and an M.P.P. in environmental policy from the University of Maryland and a B.S. in wildlife biology from the University of California, Davis.