Liza Marie Ryan is a congressional liaison specialist within ATF’s Office of Public and Governmental Affairs. She is a dedicated public servant, contributing over 30 years of hard work, excellence, and dedication to ATF. In addition to her current role, Ryan has previously served as an investigative assistant, industry operations investigator, firearms enforcement specialist, area supervisor, training manager, program manager, and Acting Director of Industry Operations in the Atlanta Field Division.
Ryan is a first-generation Korean American. She grew up with a strong sense of family, and being family-oriented is an important value she’s held for her entire life. Inspired by her father’s law enforcement career, Ryan sought to follow in his footsteps. This led her to ATF. Though her career has come with relocations and transitions, Ryan’s strong family values have stayed true. She is grateful for the enduring support her family has shown her throughout her career – without their support, her career journey wouldn’t have been as rewarding.
Importance of Diverse Voices in Law Enforcement
Ryan believes diversity is an important component for the success of law enforcement agencies. She believes her background, experiences, and knowledge have enabled her to speak to and form connections with people from many different cultures. She believes that it is important for Asian American and Pacific Islander Americans to join the federal workforce because there are so many positive contributions that can be made to spark growth and improvement across the nation.
Ryan thinks diverse voices should join law enforcement for greater representation of a nation full of different cultures and backgrounds. She believes that Asian American and Pacific Islander American representation is not often seen in federal law enforcement, and that improving upon this can increase the well-roundedness and effectiveness of agencies.
Reflecting on Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
To Ryan, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is an opportunity to recognize important contributions and successes that may go unseen. She believes this month is a meaningful way to practice inclusion and celebrate the many positive impacts the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have had on our nation’s history.
When asked what advice she would give to someone with a similar background seeking to join ATF, Ryan says, “Don’t give up.” Ryan believes that people shouldn’t let the fear of unfair judgement discourage them following their chosen career paths.