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The CIA might be the first school in the U.S. dedicated to culinary arts — it was founded to train returning World War II vet back in 1946 — but it’s not stuck in the past. Under president Tim Ryan’s leadership, the school has expanded its influence and its footprint around the world. Through these changes, Ryan manages to balance the school’s rich history with the requirements students need to succeed in culinary careers today.
Known for: Ryan is the first alumnus to rise through the ranks to become president of the CIA, and he brings his unique combination of academic rigor and classical culinary training to the school. He helps today’s CIA graduates prepare for the multifaceted world of food, which includes understanding nutrition, business, and food policy.
Power move: During Ryan’s tenure, the CIA opened the Food Business School, which focuses on food entrepreneurship and innovation, and introduced coursework in culinary science, hospitality management, and wine and beverage studies. He opened CIA campuses in San Antonio, Texas, and in Singapore, the school’s first international location. He also founded industry-changing conferences like Menus of Change and reThink Food.
What’s next: According to Ryan, the future leaders in the food world need to be stewards of our environment and provide sustainable food to feed the world, and with new coursework and programs, he’s training them to do just that.