In the weeks leading up to the 2016 Alumni Awards Ceremony, we’ll be profiling each honoree in detail here on the blog. This year’s distinguished alum in the Humanities category is Dr. Ian Ralby ’02, modern languages and linguistics, and M.A. ’02, intercultural communication, founder and CEO of the international consulting firm I.R. Consilium.
Even after completing a law degree at William and Mary and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge, Dr. Ian Ralby still regards the education he received at UMBC as “unequivocally first rate and world class.” The 2002 valedictorian, former Humanities Scholar, and men’s diving team alum fondly remembers the courses that shaped his interest in international studies and the professors who helped him along the way, naming Brigitte May, Bob Sloane, Tom Field, Stan McCray, Jack Sinnigen, Ed Larkey, Gala Stern, John Stolle-McAllister, Angela Moorjani, and the late Carol Barner-Barry as influences. He also considers himself extremely fortunate to have been mentored by UMBC President Dr. Freeman Hrabowski. In the years since graduation, Dr. Ralby has worked on the Saddam Hussein trial, served at the center of international efforts to develop accountability for armed contractors and private security companies, and has been influential in developing the maritime security architecture to counter piracy, trafficking, illegal fishing, and other crime in Africa. After finishing his doctorate, he spent two years working in Bosnia and Herzegovina as an international law advisor, while also building his own firm, I.R. Consilium in London. After the Ebola outbreak temporarily shut down his work in 2014, he returned to Maryland and took a position with the US Government’s Africa Center for Strategic studies as an expert on maritime law and security. In addition to continuing that work for the Department of Defense, he is also currently leading the largest study ever conducted on refined oil theft in his role as a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. Over the last year, he has also relaunched his consultancy, I.R. Consilium as a US company, and is engaged by several major clients on matters of international law, security, geopolitics, and strategy. His prolific publishing and frequent lecturing is a testament to his commitment “to learn, grow, and build on what I have done so far in order to have greater and greater positive effect on people’s safety, security, and quality of life around the world.”