Dr. Watley was an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and joined Go Forward Pine Bluff as CEO-elect in May of 2017. He became CEO after the successful passage of the Go Forward Pine Bluff tax initiative on June 13, 2017.
He has held development positions with Northeast Academy in Oklahoma City and Rose State Community College. He has been part of numerous leadership organizations and is involved in numerous community organizations and has organized a Christmas Potluck that provides a meal to the entire community on Christmas day for over 11 years.
Ryan holds a doctoral degree in organic chemistry from the University of Oklahoma where he has been published and was awarded a United States patent for his drug development methodology. In 2020, LISC awarded Dr. Watley the Rubinger Community Fellowship. Ryan is a member of the Leadership Arkansas Class XIV.