GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Center for Creative Leadership is turning to a familiar figure to become its new president and chief executive officer.

John Ryan, a board member at the CCL since 2002, will replace John Alexander, who is retiring. Alexander has led the center since 1997.

Ryan currently is chancellor at the State University of New York. He has held that position since 2005. A former superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, Ryan is a retired vice admiral and a former pilot. He spent 35 years in the military.

His exact starting date at CCL has not yet been determined.

The CCL, an international operation, reported $79 million in revenues for its last fiscal year.

"Our search for a new CEO yielded a number of excellent candidates," said Ingar Skaug, chairman of CCL’s Board of Governors. "Among those, John stood out for his dynamic leadership skills, his extraordinary work on behalf of educational institutions and his strong commitment to CCL."

Ryan graduated from the Naval Academy in 1967. He is a native of Pennsylvania.

"Through my service on CCL’s Board of Governors, I’ve witnessed firsthand the tremendous impact that we have on leaders and organizations throughout the world, in every type of sector," Ryan said. "This institution has a long history of groundbreaking work in leadership education and research. I look forward to the challenge and privilege of serving as its sixth president."