iSchool Directory


  • Technology & Society (STS)
  • Data Governance
  • Privacy


Ryan Biava is a Senior Strategic Advisor in the Energy Innovation & Resources division of Seattle City Light, the city’s municipal electric utility. He was previously Deputy Director of the Seattle Mayor’s Office of Policy & Innovation, with a portfolio including technology policy.

Trained in the United States and France as a comparative political scientist, Dr. Biava’s work focuses on the clash between emerging technologies, societal institutions, and political ideologies. His doctoral dissertation, “The Comparative Politics of Privacy: Ideas, Institutions & Information,” examined internet-era, liberal-democratic privacy regulation and norms in the United States, Canada, and France.

In 2019, he and Prof. Jan Whittington (College of Built Environments) developed and launched a graduate-level, interdisciplinary course entitled “Technologies of the City,” incorporating information studies, urban planning, law, ethics, and municipal policy and administration.

Dr. Biava’s energy-sector interests center on the convergence of three factors: technology (e.g., distributed energy resources, blockchain); industrial organization and politics (e.g., market restructuring, power grid access and control); and society (e.g., adaptation to climate change, sociology of energy).


  • Ph D, Political Science, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2014
  • MA, International Affairs, Institut d’Etudes Politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), 2003
  • BA, Political Science, University of Washington, 2001

Publications and Contributions

  • Journal Article, Academic Journal
    A Framework for Analyzing and Comparing Privacy States (2014)
    Journal of the Association for Information Science & Technology, Volume 65, Issue 12, Page 2422-2431 Authors: Alan Rubel, Ryan Biava
  • PhD Dissertation
    The Comparative Politics of Privacy: Ideas, Institutions & Information (2014)
    Author: Ryan Biava
  • Conference Poster
    Network Maps and Congressional Frames: Analyzing Bill Titles as a Field of Conflict (2013)
    Proceedings of the iConference Author: Ryan Biava


  • The Comparative Politics of Privacy: Describing & Comparing Privacy States Across Time & Place (2017)
    Research Symposium, iSchool, University of Washington - Seattle, WA
  • Information Technology: The Life of the Party? (2012)
    American Political Parties & Politics course, Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Madison, WI
  • Media, Technology & Political Life (2012)
    Introduction to American Government & Politics course, Department of Political Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Madison, WI