Hon. Margaret A. Ryan, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces

Margaret A. “Meg” Ryan was born in Chicago, Illinois. She received her bachelor of arts cum laude from Knox College in 1985 and her Juris Doctor summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame Law School in 1995. Ryan attended law school under the Marine Corps Law Education Program at the University of Notre Dame, where she was a member of the Notre Dame Law Review, received the William T. Kirby Legal Writing Award, and was the recipient of the Colonel William J. Hoynes Award for Outstanding Scholarship for graduating first in the class.

Ryan served on active duty for the United States Marine Corps from 1987 to 1999. She served in units within the second and third Marine Expeditionary Forces as a staff officer, company commander, platoon commander, and operations officer. Her tours included deployments to the Philippines during a coup attempt and to Saudi Arabia during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. She then served as a judge advocate general (JAG), and as a trial counsel and chief trial counsel in Okinawa, Japan, and Quantico, Virginia. Ryan was then selected by General Charles C. Krulak, commandant of the Marine Corps, to serve as his aide de camp. For her service, Ryan was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals, and the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal.

After her service in the Marines, she was admitted to practice law in Virginia, Colorado, and the District of Columbia, and before the Supreme Court of the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the Supreme Courts of Virginia and Colorado.

Ryan then clerked for Judge J. Michael Luttig on the Fourth Circuit from 2000 to 2001, and then for Justice Clarence Thomas on the United States Supreme Court from 2001 to 2002. Prior to joining the court, Ryan was in private practice with various firms. She was a litigation partner and associate at the law firm Bartlit Beck Palenchar & Scott from 2002 to 2004 and an associate in the litigation and appellate practice at Cooper Carvin & Rosenthal from 1999 to 2000. Most recently, she was partner in the litigation and appellate practices at Wiley Rein & Fielding in Washington, D.C.

In November 2006, Ryan was nominated by President George W. Bush to replace Judge Herman F. Gierke on the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. The court exercises worldwide appellate jurisdiction over members of the U.S. military on active duty and other persons subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. The court is composed of five civilian judges appointed for 15-year terms.

Ryan was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on December 9, 2006, by unanimous consent.