Ryan Comfort

Ryan enjoys learning from diverse perspectives in order to find new opportunities to connect and coordinate work. As Coffective’s Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Ryan is able to apply his experience aligning the business, social, and philanthropic sectors to propel Coffective toward its vision.

Ryan originally began his career in finance. He attended The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, earning a Bachelor of Science in Economics. His studies included marketing, finance, management, and real estate. After college, Ryan transitioned into real estate private equity in New York where he was part of an investment team managing $1.5 billion. He was responsible for financial analysis, deal execution, and capital allocation.

In 2011, Ryan left his job in finance after being inspired by The Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Support Breastfeeding. He traveled the country in a 40-foot, pink bus to learn from national, state, and local experts about the obstacles families face when trying to reach their breastfeeding goals. It only took a few stops on the tour to appreciate the complexity of the problem, and how it manifested differently across the country based on local dynamics. Ryan was inspired by the unyielding passion of those he met, and their desire to help improve the health of their communities. He realized the need was not to build a new community, but to support the existing communities in working together more effectively. In 2012, Coffective was founded for that purpose.

As Chief Executive Officer, Ryan sets the vision for Coffective. He provides leadership, guidance, and alignment for achieving the vision to a multidisciplinary team with expertise in public health, clinical, technology, strategy, communications, evaluation, and other fields. Ryan also drives Coffective’s development strategy. He leads funder engagement and works with national partners to scale Coffective’s existing efforts. In 2018, Ryan identified barriers in achieving sustainable systems change when relying solely on state government funding, and saw an opportunity for philanthropy to fill this gap. He began attending monthly Foundation Impact Research Group (FIRG) seminars at Duke University to learn from philanthropic leaders. Their perspectives helped Ryan develop a model for aligning different sources of philanthropic capital with government- and community-based funding to support larger systems transformation.

In his free time, Ryan takes advantage of California’s beautiful landscapes and weather by playing volleyball and hiking. He also enjoys taking his golden retriever, Leo, to the beach.