Who We Are

Dr. Ian M. Ralby, Founder and CEO

Dr. Ralby founded I.R. Consilium in 2011 and serves as CEO. While his background includes practice in maritime, military, and international law, much of his career has focused on issues at the intersection of law and security. He is a recognized expert in four main areas: 1) maritime law and security, including the interdiction of transnational crime; 2) the regulation, governance, and oversight of private security companies—both land and maritime; 3) oil theft and related energy crimes; and 4) certain aspects of international law. He is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Global Energy Center of the Atlantic Council, an Adjunct Professor of Maritime Law and Security at the US Department of Defense’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies, a Consultant for the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s Global Maritime Crime Program and a “Key Opinion Former on Maritime Security” at NATO.  He serves as an expert advisor to and consultant for various organs of the United Nations, as well as other international and regional organizations. Dr. Ralby provides an array of legal, security and policy advice to sovereign governments, international organizations and transnational businesses. He frequently publishes and speaks on matters relating to international affairs and various aspects of law and security. Dr. Ralby earned a B.A. in Modern Languages and Linguistics and an M.A. in Intercultural Communication at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County; a J.D. at the College of William and Mary; and an M.Phil. in International Relations and a Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies at St. John’s College of the University of Cambridge.

Rohini Ralby, Managing Director

Ms. Ralby brings to bear the deep knowledge and strong action she has developed over decades of experience as a martial artist, Head of Security for Swami Muktananda Paramahamsa, and mentor to a range of clients, from corporate executives to security professionals to energy sector experts. She provides expert counsel in strategic planning, adapting to rapidly changing environments, and realizing strategic goals. Her extensive training in a monastic environment, which she has refined and applied for many years, allows her extraordinary insight into underlying forces, probable outcomes, and possible courses of action, as well as an ability to discern the motivations, strengths, and weaknesses of the agents involved. A superb crisis manager, Ms. Ralby cuts to the heart of complex situations, discerning both the relations among their constituent elements and the decisive information that can lead to effective action with lasting results. Further, she is an expert in pre-conflict resolution: seeing how to resolve a potential problem before it manifests. Her insight and direction has been fundamental to I.R. Consilium’s work on Downstream Oil Theft for the Atlantic Council, as well as to advising a number of clients on challenging business and security matters. Ms. Ralby has an A.B. in Sociology from Washington University in St. Louis and an M.A. in Dance from Mills College.

Dr. David Soud, Head of Research and Analysis

Dr. Soud brings to I.R. Consilium the research, analysis, and communication skills he has developed in over two decades of work as an educator, researcher, and writer. He has been one of the principal drivers behind I.R. Consilium’s work in energy security and was a contributing author to the reports on Downstream Oil Theft for the Atlantic Council.  He has published books and articles for both academic and general readers in intellectual and political history, cultural events, literary criticism, and weapons. Dr. Soud is expert in tracking down sources, assessing complex situations, discerning deep connections and patterns of influence, and presenting his analyses in clear, precise, and accessible terms. He earned an AB in English from Davidson College, an MA in English from the University of Delaware, and a DPhil in English from the University of Oxford.

Russ Armstrong, Maritime Security

Mr. Armstrong is an expert in maritime security with a particular expertise in maritime interdiction and counter-piracy. He served as a Royal Marines Officer on numerous operations, most recently with the Royal Navy’s enhanced Maritime Interdiction Operations (MIOps) capability in the Somali Basin. His last post was in command of the Royal Marines Enhanced Counter Piracy Troop, where he led the first Royal Marines Troop throughout the Gulf of Aden, Somali Basin, and Indian Ocean. In that capacity, he was directly responsible for the provision of enhanced MIOps capability. Prior to that deployment, Mr. Armstrong served as exercise director responsible for the planning, coordination and tactics of Royal Navy and Royal Marine Maritime Interdiction and Force Protection exercises in the UK. He has also advised the Royal Navy’s senior leadership on current maritime interdiction best practices.  After leaving the Royal Marines, he founded Castor Vali, a successful maritime security and risk management firm with operations in various parts of the world, particularly in Africa.  He brings to I.R. Consilium significant practical expertise in the tactical and operational aspects of security, allowing him to advise on strategic matters with a firm grasp of practical implications.

Philip Barber, Fisheries and Airports 

Mr. Barber spent more than 21 years as an officer in the Royal Navy, seeing active service during the Falklands Campaign and First Gulf War. Trained by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food as a British Sea Fisheries Officer, he commanded a Fishery Protection Vessel and was responsible for enforcing compliance with the EU Common Fisheries Policy, carrying out numerous boardings and a number of successful prosecutions. Trained as a helicopter pilot, he has a broad understanding of the integration of air and sea assets in the operational control of fisheries. He also held an appointment on the Naval Aviation staff as the officer responsible for maritime counter-terrorism. Since leaving the Navy, he has held a succession of demanding senior operational roles in airport management, Event Security and Logistics, most recently during the successful London 2012 Olympics.