Ryan Merkley
Ryan Merkley

Ryan is Chief Executive Officer at Creative Commons. He joined the organization in 2014 to define a new strategy and to establish long-term sustainability for CC. Today, CC is implementing its renewed strategy to build a vibrant, usable commons powered by collaboration and gratitude. Since 2014, CC nearly tripled the number of individual donors, and the commons grew to over 1.1 billion licensed works. In early 2016, CC announced a landmark $10M donation from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, supporting its ongoing work and renewed focus.

Prior to joining CC, Ryan was Chief Operating Officer of Mozilla. He also worked as Director of Corporate Communications for the City of Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games, and was a Senior Advisor to Mayor David Miller in Toronto, where he led the Mayor’s budget policy and initiated Toronto’s Open Data project. Ryan is an experienced campaigner and advocate for social causes, and has advised political campaigns on the local and national levels. Ryan is an avid cyclist and an amateur barista. He lives in Toronto with his daughter.

Ryan's News

growth of cc licenses

A Transformative Year: State of the Commons 2017

At this year’s Global Summit, board chair Molly Van Houweling emphasized that Creative Commons’ vision was not necessarily limited to the internet, but instead acts in support of the creative spirit that is enabled by the internet.

Statement on the death of CC friend and colleague Bassel Khartabil

We are deeply saddened and completely outraged to learn today that our friend and colleague Bassel Khartabil has been executed by the Syrian regime. Bassel was Creative Commons’ Syrian project lead, an open source software programmer, teacher, Wikipedia contributor, and free culture advocate. He was also a devoted son and husband, and a great friend …Read More“Statement on the death of CC friend and colleague Bassel Khartabil”


Our biggest report yet: State of the Commons 2016

We are pleased to announce our annual State of the Commons report, which celebrates our global community of artists, archivists, and advocates working to further collaboration, creativity, and access to research and cultural heritage.

Announcing CC’s new board chair, Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, and newest board member, Ruth Okediji

I am thrilled to announce the appointment of two new members of the Creative Commons Board of Directors: Molly Shaffer Van Houweling and Ruth Okediji. In addition, the board has selected Molly Shaffer Van Houweling to serve as Board Chair. Molly is a brilliant and accomplished legal academic with an extensive history with Creative Commons …Read More“Announcing CC’s new board chair, Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, and newest board member, Ruth Okediji”


Announcing the new CC Search, now in Beta

Creative Commons’ goal is a vibrant, usable Commons powered by collaboration and gratitude. That work has taken us beyond the licenses to explore new tools for discovery, reuse and collaboration.