Dr. Ian M. Ralby

CEO, I. R Consilium
Maritime Crime Expert, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Dr. Ian Ralby is a recognized authority on issues at the intersection between law and security with particular expertise in maritime law and security, energy security and the regulation and oversight of private security companies.

Dr. Ralby is a Maritime Crime Expert at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Global Maritime Crime Programme, an expert advisor to the United Nations and NATO on security matters, a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council, and CEO of his own consultancy, I.R. Consilium.  From 2015-2019, he was also Adjunct Professor of Maritime Law and Security at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Africa Center for Strategic Studies

Dr. Ralby’s work primarily concentrates on maritime law, security and strategy with an emphasis on the interdiction of transnational crime, and the development and governance of the maritime domain, including the blue economy.  In addition, he is lead author on the most extensive study ever published on downstream oil theft and illicit hydrocarbons activity and was heavily involved in the development of various international instruments and mechanisms aimed at regulating the private security industry.

His practice centers on advising and assisting governments, international organizations and multinational companies with security and legal matters.  He has worked with clients around the globe on complex problem-solving including: extensive work on maritime domain issues in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Islands and South East Asia; addressing energy crimes around the globe; forming cooperative security regimes at the regional and sub-regional levels; horizon scanning for future security concerns; devising approaches to confronting specific crimes including illegal fishing, piracy, armed robbery at sea, environmental dumping, and the smuggling or trafficking of drugs, weapons, humans, resources, contraband, counterfeit goods, antiquities and cultural property.  Dr. Ralby has also spent time embedded both as an international law advisor to a government in the Balkans and as a maritime security advisor in the Caribbean, and provided support to the Iraqi Judges on the trials of Saddam Hussein and his top lieutenants.  He remains an active advisor to several allied Western Governments on matters relating to both private security and maritime affairs, and has assisted a number of states with developing national maritime strategies.

He 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 both 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.