Ryan Johnston

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Ryan grew up in and around Omaha, Nebraska, in an immediate and extended family of educators, nonprofit managers, and social thought leaders. He has a BA from the University of Nebraska, where he developed his love of music, the arts, and creative writing, which led to his training as a grant writer in programs at UCLA and the Foundation Center.

After Ryan spent years establishing an East Coast practice as a freelance grant writer, Steven recruited him to merge their practices as part of Firefly’s national growth, and he now leads Firefly’s East Coast operations. As a development consultant and grant writer, he has planned, managed, and written successful proposals from dozens of private foundations and agencies at every level of government. Ryan has developed expertise in service areas spanning education, affordable housing, healthcare, aging, the arts, social justice, social services, youth services, and local and international community development.

He lives and works in Brooklyn, with his wife Maria (a graphic designer who specializes in work for nonprofits), and their three-year-old son, Elliott. When he’s not working or spending time with family, he enjoys training and racing on his bicycle and producing social justice-oriented documentary films.

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