Born in Kailua, Hawaii, Ryan Mello moved to Tacoma in 1997 to attend the University of Puget Sound where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in politics and government. He fell in love with Tacoma as an AmeriCorps volunteer coordinating the Youth United program at the United Way of Pierce County, producing the first-ever letter-in-community service program where high school students earn their varsity letter for exceptional community service. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the Pierce Conservation District where he leads a team of conservation professionals working to improve water quality and habitat function for people, fish and wildlife, increase access to local, healthy food for all and expand sustainable agriculture practices.
Ryan was the first openly gay man to serve on the Tacoma City Council and served from 2010 – 2019. Previously, Ryan was elected citywide to the Metropolitan Park Board of Commissioners in 2005.
On the Tacoma City Council, Ryan served as Chair of the Infrastructure, Planning & Sustainability Committee, and led the Puget Sound Regional Council’s Growth Management Policy Board & the Pierce County Flood Control Zone District Advisory Committees. He also served on the Puget Sound Clean Air Agency Board of Directors, Pierce Transit Board of Commissioners, among other assignments where he worked to enhance our quality of life and improve basic infrastructure. Ryan is known as a strong advocate for working families, smart growth, and practical solutions to our most pressing problems of housing affordability, homelessness and improving our streets and sidewalks. Ryan also serves on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and previously as a founding board member of Equal Rights Washington and the Transportation Choices Coalition Board of Directors.
Ryan lives in Tacoma and enjoys hiking, supporting local sports teams and community service. He is committed to ensuring basic services are delivered effectively, everyone who needs a job has a good paying job with benefits, keeping the South Sound affordable for all income levels, having efficient transportation solutions for our community, and ensuring that our air, land and water is healthy for everyone to enjoy.