Born, raised, and educated in West Virginia, Ryan Thorn grew up the son of a coal miner and learned early in life the importance of hard work, serving others, and dedication to creating opportunities for rural communities. Thorn has 15 years of professional experience in the private and public sectors, working in the fields of public and government affairs and economic development. He previously served more than five years as Economic Development Manager for the Office of U.S. Senator Joe Manchin III (D-WV). In this role, he worked with local, state, and federal stakeholders to attract new and expand existing businesses, strengthen public infrastructure, develop a skilled and ready workforce, and create economically diverse and resilient communities across the state. Thorn is the first in his immediate family to graduate from college and is an advocate for lifelong learning. He holds a master’s degree from West Virginia University, a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia Wesleyan College, and is a board member of the Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College Foundation.