Ryan Hilger is a nonresident senior fellow at the Cyber Statecraft Initiative of the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab. He is also a doctoral student in systems engineering at Colorado State University, where his research focuses on understanding and improving the cyber resilience of complex cyber sociotechnical ecosystems, developing novel methods to understand how advanced persistent threats compromise those ecosystems, and understanding the role of human factors and artificial intelligence in cyber resilience. 

He has published in the United States Naval Institute Proceedings, War on the Rocks, Center for International Maritime Security, Strategy Bridge, and several other publications.

He is also an active-duty Navy engineering duty officer and has previously completed tours onboard USS Maine (SSBN 741), USS Springfield (SSN 761) as chief engineer, with the Chief of Naval Operations Strategic Studies Group, OPNAV N97 as a requirements officer and resource sponsor in the Pentagon, and several acquisition program offices. He mentors Hacking 4 Defense teams at Colorado State University and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

He holds a BA in political science from the University of Kansas, an MS in mechanical engineering from the Naval Postgraduate School, and graduate certificates in regional security studies (East Asia and China) and anti-submarine warfare, and is pursuing graduate certificates in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Data Engineering from Colorado State University. His views are his own and do not represent those of the Department of Defense.