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 three main areas: 1) maritime security, including the interdiction of transnational crime; 2) the regulation, governance, and oversight of private security companies—both land and maritime; and 3) oil theft and related energy crimes. 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, 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.
Dr. Mahsa Rouhi, Energy Security
Dr. Rouhi brings energy sector and energy security expertise to I.R. Consilium. Her work primarily focuses on nuclear security and security policy in the Middle East region, and Iran in particular. Her other research interests include energy security, Islam and politics, and civil-military relations. Most recently, she has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the International Security Program and Project on Managing the Atom at Harvard University’s Belfer Center. She is also a research associate at MIT’s Center for International Studies, where she has worked on various research projects since 2009. Before rejoining the Belfer center in 2016, she was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at University of Miami for two years where she taught courses on security and diplomacy in international relations, conflict resolution, Islam and politics, and foreign policy with special focus on the Middle East region. She was a Stanton Nuclear Security Fellow and an associate with the International Security Program and the Project on Managing the Atom previously at the Belfer Center, 2010–2013. She has published op-eds in National Interest and the Christian Science Monitor and serves as a consultant to national and international organizations. She conducts policy-relevant research as well as academic research. She received her B.A. in Economics from Shahid Beheshty University in Tehran, Iran, and her Master’s Degree in Political Theory from University of Sheffield, UK before completing her PhD at King’s College of the University of Cambridge.
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.