Barbara J. Ryan is Director of the intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO) located in Geneva, Switzerland. She is responsible for coordinating the activities of 103 Member States and 106 Participating Organizations who are integrating Earth observations in eight important areas, including agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, energy, health and water. Under her leadership, at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Landsat data policy was changed to release all data over the internet at no charge -- an action that has resulted in the global release of more than 41 million Landsat scenes to date. She holds a Bachelor´s degree in Geology, State University of New York at Cortland, a Master´s degree in Geography, the University of Denver, and a Master´s degree in Civil Engineering, Stanford University. She was recently awarded on honorary Doctor of Science degree from the State University of New York at Cortland.