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Staff Snapshots | Ryan Frost

April 25, 2022 | State Legislatures News | Print

Ryan Frost

Hometown: Cheyenne, Wyo.

Role: Legislative information officer, Operations Division, Wyoming Legislative Service Office; Frost is a 2020 graduate of NCSL’s Legislative Staff Certificate Program.

Years of legislative service: Four and a half

The talent or skill he’s proudest of: “My ability to make government more understandable and accessible to the public. I enjoy helping others to understand why government is important and how it directly impacts their lives.”

 

Why did you choose to work at the legislature?

Early in my career, I held a position that included tracking legislation as it moved through our state legislature. The more I understood about the process, the more interesting it became to me. After working for the Wyoming executive branch for several years, I took a job with the Legislative Services Office, staffing the Joint Appropriations Committee. After a few years in that role, I moved into my current position in our Operations Division, where I’m the legislative information officer. Now almost five years later, my professional satisfaction has never been higher. While the environment can be challenging at times, it can also be energizing, and I genuinely enjoy my colleagues and getting to work with a talented group of people.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?

Former U.S. Senator Alan Simpson of Wyoming famously said, “If you have integrity, nothing else matters. If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.” While this advice wasn’t given to me individually, it becomes more and more true the further I get into my professional career. I’ve been fortunate to have some incredible mentors during my life, and I’d like to say I took something from each of them, such as different leadership styles and ways to manage projects or approach daily tasks. However, the one thing I learned from all my mentors was, first and foremost, that integrity is the most important attribute.  

Who or what inspires you?

My father-in-law is a great inspiration. He was a city manager for over 30 years and then became director of an executive branch department for eight years. He demonstrated outstanding leadership during his tenure, and I will forever be grateful for the things I have learned and continue to learn from him, just by hearing the way he speaks on various topics. He possesses a deep understanding of issues and brings a level of thoughtfulness to each situation that I have rarely seen in people in positions of authority. He embodies the idea of being a public servant. While he’s enjoying retirement now, he will always stand as a professional inspiration to me.

What’s one thing you love about your state?

There are many things to love about Wyoming, like its beautiful landscapes and outdoor recreation, but what I love the most are the professional opportunities I’ve been able to pursue in the state. A small population and rural environment may not be for everyone, but they provide opportunities for connection and advancement. One of my favorite professors at the University of Wyoming often reminded students of this, and my career continues to demonstrate this fact. I work on a regular basis with decision-makers in Wyoming and have become familiar with individuals throughout the three branches of government. I may not have had such opportunities in larger states.

What are you currently reading/listening to/watching?

For nonfiction, I have been reading anything I can find about the James Webb Space Telescope. I can’t wait to see the future discoveries of this project. If you haven’t heard of it, I strongly suggest looking it up! For fiction, I have been working my way through all of Adrian Tchaikovsky’s books. Tchaikovsky is a brilliant British science fiction author. I regularly listen to a handful of podcasts, but I would list Ezra Klein’s as a favorite. Finally, I’m currently watching the new season of “The Last Kingdom” on Netflix. It’s a historical fiction drama about Vikings during the Anglo-Saxon period. 

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

For its “Staff Snapshots” series, State Legislatures News is asking legislative staff about their role in the legislature. If you’d like to suggest a staffer for this series, please email Holly South at NCSL.

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