Research Fellow, Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia; Research Fellow, Centre for Australian Studies, University of Texas at Austin; Executive Chair, Tingari-Silverton Foundation
A licensed psychologist in her birth country, Australia, for 25 years, and a dual citizen of Australia and the USA, Dr. Pamela Ryan works globally, holding leadership positions in several international organizations. Her diverse experience as a psychologist in the organisational, political and psychosocial arenas, converges in her work with Psychology Beyond Borders (PBB).
As the Managing Director of Issues Deliberation Australia (IDA) since 1998, Dr. Ryan has led teams of psychologists, social workers, facilitators, researchers and over a thousand volunteers in numerous leading-edge public policy and research initiatives. These include building understanding between Muslims and non-Muslims, Reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, feasibility of human rights legislation and parliamentary reform, ‘future perfect thinking’ on economic development, comparisons of voters’ mental maps and exploration of psychological well-being in the face of fear and terror.
IDA’s pioneering global work on the psychology of fear and terror led Dr. Ryan to co-found what eventually became Psychology Beyond Borders (PBB) in 2005 with several other delegates from the First International Assembly on Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror, convened by IDA in 2004. With an initial role as Executive Director, Dr. Ryan led the growth of PBB from an idea to its current status as a pioneering international humanitarian NGO. Today, Psychology Beyond Borders is dedicated to combining psychosocial service delivery with rigorous research to add to the body of evidence about various psychosocial approaches in order to inform policy and practice. Dr. Ryan now chairs the PBB Board of Directors and continues to play an active role in many PBB projects.
Dr. Ryan has authored and co-authored many public policy reports, conference papers and academic articles relating to IDA and PBB projects, including Managing the Psychology of Fear and Terror, Living with the Emotions of Cancer, The Psychology of Microfinance, and Not Who They Seem (about sociopathology). Following the publication of her book, Magic Carpet Flying (2010), two further books are in progress for 2013 publication.
Dr. Ryan serves on several Boards, including a term on South Australia’s Premier’s Council for Women. Dr. Ryan is also Co-founder and Executive Chair of the Tingari-Silverton Foundation, which focuses on empowerment of disadvantaged peoples in the USA, Australia and other countries, including Ethiopia, East Timor, Sri Lanka, India, Vietnam, and South Africa.
Dr. Ryan received her Ph.D. from the University of Texas with internationally award winning research on the psychology of decision-making. Dr. Ryan maintains her strong ties with academia as a Research Fellow at the Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia and the Centre for Australian Studies at the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. Ryan also holds a private pilots license.
In 2008, Dr. Ryan was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of South Australia for her work in public policy and political psychology. In 2009, she was inducted to the Women’s Honour Role of South Australia and listed in Who’s Who of Australian Women. In 2011, Dr. Ryan was awarded the prestigious Order of Australia Medal by the Australian Government for her contribution to the field of psychology and to Australia.