Wellesley Alum Takes National Stage at GOP National Convention

August 30, 2012

Janna Little Ryan '91 Joined Husband, Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Paul Ryan, in Tampa

Janna Little Ryan '91, attorney, former lobbyist, mother of three, daughter of Prudence Little '65, and wife of Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, joined her husband at the Republican National Convention in Tampa. As the 2012 elections launch into full force, much national media attention has been focused on Janna Ryan, as well as on her time at Wellesley.

Several media accounts have described Ryan as an accomplished attorney and former lobbyist, as well as a supportive mother and wife who shies away from the spotlight. But according to a New York Times article, Janna Ryan is “not, however, someone who has shied away from asserting herself.” In the piece, co-written by staff reporter and Wellesley alum Christine Haughney '95, Ryan is described as “a lawyer and a tax specialist who, before her marriage, worked for prestigious government affairs and accounting firms as a lobbyist, representing some of the biggest names in a range of industries, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Novartis, and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.”

The New York Times also reported that during her college years at Wellesley, she once took a road trip to Washington to march for women’s rights. According to the story, Ryan’s former professors at Wellesley “described her as being interested in social justice and the broader world around her. She belonged to Wellesley’s art and music society and spent the spring of 1990 studying in Córdoba, Spain, to sharpen her Spanish and explore other parts of Europe.”

Americans on all sides are eager to get to know Janna Ryan. At a public event on the campaign trail in Tampa, Ryan spoke for a short time and told audiences, “I look forward to meeting so many of you in the weeks ahead.”





From “helicopter parenting” to letting children go alone to the park, private parenting gets public scrutiny. 



A recent book by Wellesley sociology professor Markella Rutherford examines private freedom and public constraints for parents and children in the United States.



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