Ryan Stowers

Ryan Stowers

Executive Director

Charles Koch Foundation

We’re all capable of extraordinary things, but in a very unique and individualized way.


By Roadtrip Nation

Ryan Stowers


My road in life has taken me all over.
I grew up in rural Utah in a very religious family that really focused on helping others.
I served a two-year mission in Hungary after high school—my service combined with my mother’s influence as a nurse made me decide that I wanted to keep helping others by becoming a doctor.
After completing my mission, I came back to Utah for college.
While studying, I also started to engage in different medical training programs and gain experience in the medical field—I worked as a nurse’s aide, a phlebotomist, and a surgical tech.
As I gained more experience, I realized there were aspects of medicine that I didn’t enjoy—I also grew more interested in my humanities classes and the impact that ideas can have on humanity.
I decided to leave medicine and pursue humanities instead—I earned a bachelor’s degree in both liberal arts and political science, and then a master’s in political economy.
I started working in program management and then joined the Charles Koch Foundation as program officer.
I’ve been at the Charles Koch Foundation for the last 15 years and have worked my way up to my current position as executive director.
Keep following my journey


Executive Director

I help manage the vision and strategy for Charles Koch's philanthropic foundation.

Career Roadmap

My work combines:
My work combines:
Non-Profit Organizations
Helping People

Day to Day

I work on the foundation's vision and the strategies that we deploy to make sure our grants and other impact efforts are consistent with that vision. I also supervise a group of leaders that run the operations, grant management, and relationships of the foundation. It's my job to empower them and make sure they have everything they need to be successful. I also spend time representing the foundation publicly when we make a large donation, conduct interviews, and engage in other public events.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for high school students

It's important to really take time to take a real introspective look at what you're good at and what you're not really inclined for. Try to find a pathway that aligns with those things you're good at. When I was younger, I thought I knew what I wanted to become. As I grew up and went through school, I realized that I was actually better suited for other things. I encourage you to pay attention to the things you're good at rather than trying to fit into a standard box that isn't right for you.


The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"You need to become either a doctor, lawyer, or accountant."