About Sean M. Ryan
Chairman of Committee on Commerce, Economic Development, and Small Business
Sean M. Ryan was first elected to the New York State Senate in 2020 after previously serving in the New York State Assembly from 2011 to 2020. Sean represents the 61st Senate District, which includes parts of the City of Buffalo, the City of Tonawanda, the Towns of Amherst, Grand Island, and Tonawanda, as well as the Villages of Kenmore and Williamsville.
Sean proudly grew up in Lackawanna, where he learned the value of hard work from his father, who was a firefighter, and his mother, who was a teacher. Western New York is his home, and Western New York values are a part of who he is. As a kid, Sean was taught if you work hard, you will be secure, you will have a place in the economy, and you can live the American dream. During his senior year in high school, that abruptly came to an end as Bethlehem Steel closed down. Thousands lost their jobs, and family, friends, and neighbors were all displaced in the economy. For generations, Western New York struggled to get back on its feet.
In the State Assembly, Sean worked to transform the Western New York economy during his time in office. He learned the lessons of Bethlehem Steel and used those lessons to guide his work to create progress for Buffalo and Western New York.
Sean is a graduate of SUNY College at Fredonia and Brooklyn Law School and his broad legal experience includes work for Neighborhood Legal Services, a private law practice collaboration with the Learning Disabilities Association of WNY concentrating on the rights of disabled students, and the Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo. His legal career highlights include a record award for a victim of housing discrimination, a successful challenge to a school district’s denial of special education services to children enrolled in parochial schools, and an action to compel enforcement of Buffalo’s Living Wage Ordinance.
In 2008, Sean began working with People United for Sustainable Housing, Inc. to create a non-profit development entity called the Buffalo Neighborhood Stabilization Company, Inc. (BNSC). Sean served as the Executive Director and General Counsel of BNSC and worked to create a redevelopment plan for a section of the West Side of Buffalo.
Sean has served on the Board of Directors and has provided legal representation and guidance to numerous non-profit organizations including Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Autistic Services Inc, Coalition for Economic Justice, and the City of Buffalo’s Living Wage Commission.
As an Assemblyman, Sean championed many different issues including creating a fair economy for all, protecting taxpayer dollars, lower taxes for middle-class families and small businesses, increased investment in education, waterfront development, neighborhood redevelopment, and clean air, water, and environmental protection. In the State Senate, Sean is continuing his commitment to serve the people of Western New York.
Today he resides in the City of Buffalo with his wife Catherine Creighton and their two daughters.