Alan Ryan is the former Warden of New College, Oxford and Professor of Politics at the University of Oxford. He is currently a lecturer at Princeton University.

He is the author of numerous scholarly books and articles about western political thought, including most notably The Philosophy of John Stuart Mill (Pantheon Books/Macmillan, 1970), Russell: A Political Life (Allen Lane/Hill & Wang, 1988), and John Dewey and the High Tide of American Liberalism (Norton, 1995). He has been a frequent contributor to Dissent and The New York Review of Books. He has also frequently contributed to The Independent and the Times Higher Education Supplement, notably on trends in higher education and their impact on the humanities.

He is a Fellow of the British Academy holds a B.A., M.A., and D.Litt. from Oxford University.