Ryan Riegg



Ryan began his career in the Middle East working in the Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon. Concerned by the lack of economic opportunity there, Ryan created an import/export company and, in the process, reversed a US legal-precedent on the importation of hookahs/shishas.

As a result of changing a law, Ryan decided to go to law school at UCLA, where he wrote several law journal articles on Islamic law, economics, and FGM, before moving to the Middle East to work in law and venture capital. 

While in the Middle East, Ryan was asked to start a video game company, New Arab Media, which quickly had a series of top-ranked games in the region, and was featured in major press in Europe, the US, and the Middle East.

After serving as New Arab Media's GM & CLO for several years, Ryan left the company, shortly after following the refugee-path from Greece through Macedonia, Serbia, & Germany.

As a result of Ryan following refugees through the Balkans, he has dedicated most of the last two years to the former-Yugoslavia, working on development projects, consulting, mentoring startups, and writing OpEds for publications like VICE, NEWSWEEK, THE HILL, and VOX.

Ryan's writing is frequently featured on the front-page of the publications he works with, due to its factual rigor and insider-views into how government, law, and economics intersect in MENA. His articles on Saudi predicted the Kingdom's continued, large-scale acquisition of US arms -- as well as Riyadh's attack on Doha, nearly three months before the Saudi blockade on Qatar. 

The central theme of Ryan's writing is to provide well-documented and accurate information about foreign policy, law, and economics in the Muslim world, based on his years of on-the-ground experience working with policymakers, refugees, and the people in-between. 

Ryan’s consulting firm, Aion Associates, focuses on businesses between the US & EMEA, particularly those in the social impact & responsibility space

Disruptor Awards