Ryan Shields

Ryan Shields

Assistant Editor and Producer

Ryan is a data visualization and storytelling professional who has spent the past seven years working on international issues in development and security. He has provided data visualization support for more than 40 books, peer-reviewed articles, and other publications and taught data analysis, visualization, and storytelling to ~330 students.

During his career, Ryan applied his skillsets in digital storytelling, geospatial science and technology, and investigation to anti-trafficking operations and economic development in west Africa, disaster mitigation and economic development in the Caribbean and the south Pacific, missing persons investigations in North and Central America, counter-narcotics operations in South America, far-right politics in Europe, and the 2021 evacuation efforts in Afghanistan.

From 2017-2020 he headed the Foreign Service and National Security Student Organizations (FSSO and NSSO respectively) at Brigham Young University. During his tenure, the 25+ open source analysts of the NSSO open source journal, Praemon.org, synthesized data in over a dozen languages and published over 200 analyses of events across the globe. Ryan also hosted and moderated AMA sessions with 20+ national security professionals from private and public sector organizations.

Ryan is a licensed Part 107a Remote Pilot, PADI certified diver, and speaks Spanish. He enjoys exploring the world as much as he does analyzing it and has spent time in nine countries spanning four continents. He received a BS in Geography with an emphasis in Geospatial Intelligence from Brigham Young University, as well as an MS in Wildlife and Wildlands Conservation where he used geospatial technology to inform disaster recovery policy and sustainable blue economy building in small island developing states.