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Ryan O’Donoghue

Ryan (aka, “Wolf”) has a unique blend of for-profit, non-profit and direct experience with the young adult cancer community.  After losing his brother, Colin, to cancer as a young adult, Ryan founded Rise Above It (RAI), an organization committed to advancing the field of adolescent and young adult oncology (AYAO). He was originally introduced to First Descents (FD) through his work at RAI and in collaboration with the LIVESTRONG Young Adult Alliance.

Prior to joining FD, Ryan worked at the LIVESTRONG Foundation where he supported individual major gifts, foundation grants, corporate engagement, and also managed the Young Leaders Cancer Council (YLCC).

In his early career, Ryan worked in Accenture’s Strategy Practice where he managed Fortune 500 client accounts across several industries. Ryan holds B.S.B.A. in Finance & Technology Management from Georgetown University, where he was captain of the football team and an Academic All-American in 2000.

Ryan joined First Descents as Executive Director in December, 2013. He now serves as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of First Descents and FD’s for-profit subsidiary company, Stoke Broker. During his tenure at FD, First Descents has experienced considerable growth and received the following acknowledgements: Top 10 CNN HeroColoradoBiz 30th Anniversary Top Company (Non-Profit Category)OUTSIDE’s Best Places to Work. In 2018, The Denver Business Journal recognized Ryan for his leadership in the class of 40 under 40 honorees.