Woodbury University Announces Dr. Barry Ryan to Serve as Next President

Dr. Ryan, a Woodbury Board of Trustees Member, to Succeed Dr. David Steele-Figueredo, who announced his retirement, effective August 31.

LOS ANGELES (August, 29, 2022) – The Woodbury University Board of Trustees announced today the unanimous election of Dr. Barry Ryan, currently a Woodbury board of trustees member, as the university’s 15th president. Dr. Ryan will succeed retiring president Dr. David Steele-Figueredo, effective August 31, 2022. Dr. Steele-Figueredo has served as president since 2015.

“Dr. Ryan is the ideal candidate to take Woodbury to the next level. The board could not be more confident in its selection after working side by side and observing his leadership over many years, including service as a consultant prior to his joining the board,” said Greg Lippe, board of trustees chairman. “He is not only an accomplished academic, but also brings a full set of talents that will be leveraged, including his legal and government background, and administrative, communications, and relationship-building skills.”

Dr. Ryan earned his Ph.D. in History from UC Santa Barbara and a J.D. from UC Berkeley. He also has been a visiting doctoral scholar at Oxford University and the University of London. He holds a post-graduate diploma in global business from Oxford University. Dr. Ryan served as the United States Supreme Court Fellow in the chambers of Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and is a member of the Supreme Court bar as well as multiple federal and state bars.

He has an extensive and distinguished career in university leadership, having served as a tenured faculty member, department chair, dean, vice president, provost, and president at several institutions. He was elected twice to the WASC (WSCUC) Accreditation Commission, serving the maximum six years. Beyond academia, Dr. Ryan also has a long history of volunteer service and leadership in charitable organizations.

“I am deeply honored by my appointment to serve as President of Woodbury University, an institution with which I share my most cherished values,” said Dr. Ryan. “President Steele- Figueredo has helped guide the university during one of the most challenging times in history, and I am grateful for his encouragement and support as his successor. I look forward to working with our outstanding colleagues and students to continue to enhance and bring credit to Woodbury’s cherished legacy and the communities it serves locally and globally.”

In a statement to faculty and staff, Dr. Steele-Figueredo said, “It is with a combination of sadness and elation that I inform you of my decision to retire from my position as President of Woodbury University. I will sorely miss interacting with the exceptional faculty and staff of this

institution; and with our highly motivated students who will become the next leaders of our nation and the world. The time has come for me to spend more time with my family and pursue our passion for travel.”

During Dr. Steele-Figueredo’s seven-year tenure as president, he accomplished significant milestones, despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, including receiving two grants from the Department of Education in 2019 and 2020, each for $3 million distributed over five years, for six new STEM majors in computer science and sustainability programs.

Chairman Lippe added, “I thank Dr. Steele-Figueredo for his years of service and his dedication to the entire Woodbury Community and I wish him the best in his retirement.”

About Woodbury University

Woodbury University is one of the country’s leading creative universities, with nationally ranked programs in its School of Architecture and School of Media, Culture, & Design. The university also boasts unparalleled academic offerings in its School of Business and College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Woodbury’s Southern California location and strong relationships with the country’s most innovative companies provide unique career opportunities for students. Woodbury is recognized as an Hispanic Serving Institution and has been named a College of Distinction for seven years running. The university has earned all major accreditations – AACSB, ACBSP, CIDA, NAAB, NASAD, and WSCUC. Visit woodbury.edu for more information.


Media Contact:

Seta Javor, Vice President, Executive Relations

Woodbury University

[email protected]


Last Updated on August 30, 2022. 

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