In modern day, we see Dr. Jack Ryan for the first time, rowing on the Potomac in Washington. Later we see him biking to work at the CIA; he nearly has a collision with a car, the driver of which cusses him out. He arrives late for a meeting.
Upstairs on the 7th floor, the man who cussed at Ryan is also having a meeting. He is Jim Greer, formerly an upper level Station Chief in the Middle East. He has somehow screwed up and been demoted to a post in Washington as Head of the Terror Finance and Arms Division. This is where Jack works as an economic analyst.
Back in Washington, Jack Ryan receives a call from Joe Mueller, his old boss from when he worked on Wall Street. Mueller asks Ryan to come to his birthday party on the weekend. Jack reluctantly accepts the invitation. Later that night, Ryan seems to have insomnia; he experiences flashbacks of being in a military unit in the Middle East. As he gets out of bed, we can see that he has extensive scarring on his back. Unable to sleep, he goes in to work and continues following the terrorist money trail.