Ryan Chao (Board Vice Chair)

President, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy
Washington, DC

Ryan Chao is president of Rail-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), overseeing the organization’s national leadership in trail development, policy advocacy and movement building. RTC provides grants to organizations and local agencies that are working to improve and connect trails across the country. Ryan brings to his role a long history in community and economic development and a passion for connecting people to opportunity and the outdoors.

Ryan joined RTC after serving as vice president of civic sites and community change at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where he led significant neighborhood-transformation initiatives across the country, linking economic, educational and housing programs to strengthen families and communities. He also served as executive director of the San Francisco Bay Area-based Satellite Housing, where he led the development of affordable housing communities throughout Northern California and created innovative partnership models combining housing with comprehensive supportive services.  

Ryan earned his bachelor’s degree in architecture from Washington University in St. Louis and a Master of Business Administration from the New York University Stern School of Business.

When he’s not leading the team at RTC, Ryan enjoys skiing and cycling on the trails with his wife and daughters.