RCB Alumnus named White House Fellow

RCB Alumnus named White House Fellow

RCB Alumnus, a police captain and former pro ice hockey ref, named White House Fellow


Ryan Fraser ’99, a graduate of the Rohrer College of Business whose early career was literally on ice as a professional hockey referee, is one of 15 individuals selected for the 2023-24 class of White House Fellows.

The non-partisan program, founded in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, is one of America’s most prestigious programs for leadership and public service. Past fellows include the late Secretary of State Colin Powell, Gen. Wesley Clark and Maryland Gov. Wes Moore.

Today a captain with the NJ Transit Police, Fraser is an 18-year veteran of the force who serves as Commanding Officer of Emergency Management, a position in which he leads statewide preparedness and responses to natural and human-caused disasters.

As a White House fellow, the one-time Rowan management major is serving throughout the year with the United States Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C.

“I wanted to experience working at the highest levels of government, to further develop skills and lessons that I can take back to my community,” Fraser said.

As a police officer, Fraser has served the public in countless ways, from hurricanes Sandy, Irene and other natural disasters to rescue efforts including the so-called “Miracle on the Hudson,” the 2009 emergency landing of US Airways Flight 1549 on the Hudson River.

In addition to his Bachelor of Science from Rowan, Fraser holds an Executive Master of Professional Studies in Emergency and Disaster Management from Georgetown University, where he teaches graduate studies in emergency and disaster management.

Prior to his career in law enforcement, Fraser refereed more than 1,000 professional ice-hockey games. His dad, Kerry, is a former NHL referee and currently holds the record for most NHL regular season games refereed.

“My goal was to get my degree and to follow in my dad’s footsteps so the day I graduated from Rowan I moved across the country to begin a career in officiating,” he said.

Fraser was a referee with the American Hockey League, the premier farm organization for the NHL, when the 2004-2005 lockout and cancellation of the NHL season caused him to reconsider his career and he entered law enforcement, an environment in which he knew he could make an impact.

He’s also an elected fire commissioner in his hometown of Pennington, a longtime community advocate and a volunteer with the Special Olympics of N.J.

In a statement, the White House noted that fellows spend a year working with senior White House staff, cabinet secretaries and other high-ranking officials so they can leave the Administration better equipped to serve as leaders in their communities.

The program selects fellows from a broad range of professions, including those in the private sector, government, academia, non-profits, medicine and the Armed Forces.

Fraser, who immigrated with his family to the U.S. from Canada when he was 12, described participation as a White House Fellow as one more opportunity to serve.

“The United States has afforded me so many opportunities that I never would have had,” he said. “I have two children who I want to leave a better world to and one of the things I have focused on in my career is how to find common ground and bring people together.”

Fraser, whose fellowship runs through September, said no matter how one serves, everyone has a responsibility to leave things better than they found them.

“For those who are interested in service, they need not look much farther than their own community,” he said.