Ryan Zielonka



Ryan is a writer, researcher, and consultant. His work addresses the challenges of technology and its use in global, regional, and industry-specific contexts. His areas of focus include digital economies and societies, international security and risk, and technological innovation.



University of Washington

Seattle, Washington

PhD, International Studies - Artificial Intelligence (AI) Security

Candidate, 2018 - 19 cohort

MA, International Studies

December 2009

BA, Political Science

December 2005


Selected Professional Experience


Independent Management Consultant

Seattle, Washington

2016 - Present

Capgemini Consulting

Seattle, Washington

San Francisco, California

Managing Consultant (engagement manager) 

December 2015 – October 2016


Senior Consultant

June 2014 – December 2015


Consultant (strategy consultant)

September 2012 – June 2014

Capgemini Government Solutions

Washington, District of Columbia

Consultant (business analyst)

September 2011 – September 2012

The National Bureau of Asian Research

Seattle, Washington

Henry M. Luce Next Generation Fellow

June 2010 – June 2011


Areas of focus


Strategy and transformation

Advised and collaborated with CxO-level executives at $20b corporation on strategic, operational, technology, and market-specific issues related to high-priority newspace/aerospace venture undertaken by client organization’s Chairman and Founder

Redefined and recrafted business strategy of newspace business launch, later adopted wholesale by client, delivered in a series of executive/board-level presentations, white papers, briefings, and workshops

Defined digital strategy and identified innovation opportunities for senior executive stakeholders at $22b global French-owned automotive supplier; created business case and 3-year strategic roadmap for high profile, unit-wide digital transformation initiative within the North America sales organization, which was incorporated by top-level executives into five-year roadmap

Engaged top-level executives of $25b global communications and high technology firm to build strategic capabilities for new B2C business models, supporting the sales of Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Internet of Things (IoT) products and services in the digital media and digital health industries

Orchestrated workshops with top-level senior executive of $3b consumer products manufacturer to facilitate alignment and integration of cross-functional business operations with digital strategy

Worked with top-level executives of $4b global fashion retailer to establish global operating model and transformation roadmap for implementation of best-of-breed omni-channel capabilities

Organizational performance and behavioral change

Cultivated relationships and led conversations with senior management stakeholders at $32b telecommunications company to ensure cross-functional alignment of business priorities and strategic initiatives with digital transformation execution

Orchestrated work-stream for digital learning and development for $48b global biotechnology and pharmaceuticals firm

Led work-stream and managed strategic communications and organizational change management activities in global roll-out of new IT strategy and processes at $17b global biotechnology firm

Thought leadership

Developed and crafted behavioral economics theory-based and future state business technology trends-focused strategic transformation model for IoT and advanced analytics

Produced forward-thinking case studies on solution use cases with executable business strategies to improve user engagement with business collaboration and productivity technology

Produced thought leadership (point-of-view, case studies, and white paper) and client development strategy on enterprise collaboration and productivity transformation in partnership with $74b global high technology company

Led the research of and crafted an internal white paper on enterprise productivity technologies, which successfully influenced global consultancy's group-wide 2013 big bets strategy

Led team of six analysts in the research and writing of benchmark comparative analysis/case studies of leading retailers with omni-channel capabilities

Developed a dual-stream innovation strategic model for corporate digital transformation


Selected Publications


“Strategic Asia by the Numbers,” Book Chapter, Strategic Asia 2011-12, National Bureau of Asian Research, 2012.

“Cyber-Balkanization and U.S.-China Affairs,” with Dr. James Mulvenon, Henry M. Luce Next Generation Fellowship Capstone Paper, 2011.

“Strategic Asia by the Numbers,” Book Chapter, Strategic Asia 2010-11, National Bureau of Asian Research, 2011-12.

“Chronology of Operation Tomodachi,” Natural Bureau of Asian Research Brief, 2011.

“Japan’s Strategic Crossroads: State, Society, and Industry in the International System,” Graduate Essay of Distinction, 2009.