Who Is Janna Ryan? A Primer

 @LauraMatt
on August 13 2012 1:02 PM

Janna Ryan no longer has the luxury of a low profile. Already a public figure, she's been thrust upon the national stage -- and a much higher profile -- as a result of 2012 Republican Party presidential nominee Mitt Romney's selection of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as his running mate.

Paul Ryan took the stage in Norfolk, Va. on Saturday and introduced her and their three children to the world.

"I want you to meet my wife, Janna, our daughter Liza and sons, Charlie and Sam," Paul Ryan said to the crowd. "I am surrounded by people I love and I have been asked by Gov. Romney to serve the country I love."

Though she is the newcomer on the national stage and is carefully treading into the limelight, Janna, attractive, with a big smile, knows Washington and politics.

Here are some interesting things to know about Janna Ryan:

Family

Born Janna Little, the 43-year-old is a native of Oklahoma.

The Daily Oklahoman reported that her grandfather, Reuel Little was a lawyer and a rancher who was a candidate for governor in 1970 with the American Party. Reuel and a group of others organized the third political party to support the candidacy of former Alabama Gov. George Wallace for president, the Daily Oklahoman reported.

Her family has a strong Democratic connection, Reuters reported. Janna's uncle David Boren was a Democratic governor of Oklahoma. He cousin Dan Boren, is a Democratic U.S. representative from Oklahoma, and issued a statement Saturday that he and Janna grew up together, adding that he "couldn't be more proud of my cousin. Like my late mother after whom she is named, Janna is a wonderful parent to their children and will be Paul's strongest supporter on the campaign trail."

Education And Experience

Janna graduated with honors from Wellesley College and is also a graduate of George Washington University Law School. She dabbled in politics, working as an aide for Democratic U.S. Rep. Bill Brewster of Oklahoma. After that, Janna became a tax attorney for PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Arlington, Va. Some of her clients, according to OpenSecrets.org, include Blue Cross/Blue Shield, Conoco Inc., Steam Generator Coalition and United Parcel Service (NYSE: COP).

Marriage

Janna and Paul Ryan met through mutual friends in 1999 in Washington. A year later they were married. Ryan popped the question at one his fishing spots in Wisconsin. The two later returned to Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wis. after their wedding, and have been there since.

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