Ron Swanson is a man's man, but he isn't trying to impress anyone with his manly ways. He's simply out to enjoy his life without being bothered by anyone. He is the director of the Parks and Recreation Department in Pawnee, Indiana. Despite his relatively high-ranking position within a government agency, Ron is a strong Libertarian who believes government is a useless waste of taxpayer money and an intrusion on people's lives -- and he takes any chance he can get to make cuts in his department and elsewhere.

Ron is a devout meat eater and whiskey drinker. He is an accomplished woodworker who lives in a secluded part of town and works in his garage. He's built all kinds of musical instruments -- including a perfectly executed harp he made one night after consuming many whiskeys, just to prove to Leslie that he was not affected by the alcohol -- boats and more.

At work, Ron is more than happy to defer to Leslie, whom he hired because she is so eager to take care of things that it allows him to sit back and do nothing. He seeks out assistants who don't take messages well so that he won't have to call anyone back, and he hates meeting with anyone for any reason -- particularly any member of the public.