Ryan Combs is the executive director of RTRP, a position he assumed in February 2017 following his appointment by the organization’s board of directors. Ryan works closely with economic development organizations in each of RTRP’s member counties to market the competitive advantages of the Research Triangle Region to potential investors.
Ryan joined RTRP from the North Carolina Department of Public Safety where he served as Legislative Director for the Department’s Government Affairs initiatives. In that capacity, he worked with the North Carolina General Assembly on behalf of State Troopers, Correctional Officers, the State Bureau of Investigation, Alcohol, Law Enforcement and the State Emergency Management office.
Previously, Ryan served for eight years on United States Senator Richard Burr’s staff, traveling throughout the state of North Carolina as a field representative. Through that experience, he developed close relationships with business and community leaders to learn about and address important issues facing communities.
Ryan began his career in Washington, D.C. as a White House staff assistant under President George W. Bush and worked on Capitol Hill for United States Senator Elizabeth Dole. He also worked at Empower America, a prominent non-profit organization led by Education Secretary Bill Bennett and HUD Secretary and Congressman Jack Kemp.
He has served on the board of the Triangle Flight of Honor, flying over 800 WWII Veterans to Washington, D.C. to see the WWII Memorial, and on the board of visitors at Livingstone College. A native of Raleigh, Ryan graduated from Broughton High School and North Carolina State University, where he was a pitcher for the Wolfpack baseball team.
Ryan also serves as The Canadian Government’s Honorary Consul for the Triangle and he spends his free time raising awareness and funds for Project ALS and the ALS Association of North Carolina. His brother, Chris, passed away in 2020 after a long and hard fought battle against ALS for five years.