Ruby Rowe is a consultant at KPMG. Ruby was interviewed for the WDSN in November, 2017.
Tell us about your interests and research areas
I studied international studies and political science and then completed my masters in national security policy at the NSC. I always was interested in conflict studies and religiously motivated violence - I wrote my honours thesis on Institutional influence of religion on Israeli defence and national security policy. Going into the domestic space seemed like a natural progression. I currently work in the justice and national security sector with KPMG which has been brilliant. I’ve been able to work with a very broad range of clients on diverse projects. A the moment I’ve got a bit of a pet project looking at how immigration is affecting organised crime networks in Italy.
You recently wrote a piece for The Strategist on nuclear issues. What motivated you to write on that topic?
I went to the nuclear strategy intensive that ASPI ran which was well(?) timed as the DPRK had just launched another missile test. There were a lot of very interesting ideas throughout the day so I decided that writing something up would be a good opportunity to digest some of the discussions myself, and have more of a think about Australia’s role in a regional context – especially during Trump’s travels.
What book is currently on your bedside table?
I’ve just started reading All the Light You Cannot See again… it’s brilliant. And I am halfway through The Hilltop by Assaf Gavron – it’s set in the occupied territories in Israel and is quite dark and funny.
Any podcast recommendations?
Aside from my true-crime podcast addiction - I love one called Reply All – it’s largely on technology and US current affairs but a lot of it intersects with emerging technologies and threats. I also really like Call Your Girlfriend – again not NS specific but a general pop culture and politics podcast run by a very impressive journo and a Silicon Valley-ite. They have some amazing guests - one of my favourites is the Huma Abedin interview during the election last year.
What advice do you have to women wanting to get into the Defence and Security fields?
I think any advice I have would be embryonic but….go to lots of events and ask lots of questions. I also try to read to read from publications (journals or news etc.) that I wouldn’t naturally lean toward to make sure I’m not just consuming single-voice opinions on topics. I also think if there’s a specific topic you’re very interested in, try to keep up to date with it regardless of work/study – it will be valuable and if you’re passionate about it, it shouldn’t be a hassle!
Finally, who inspires you?
I have some brilliant colleagues who are incredibly generous with their time, and very patient and open to any new ideas. I’ve found that progressiveness very inspiring, especially in a work environment that can be quite fast paced. Ruth Bader Ginsburg…always.
You can check out Ruby’s piece ‘Australia’s stake in the regional nuclear order’ on The Strategist. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG, an Australian partnership and a member firm of the KPMG network of independent member firms affiliated with KPMG International.
Updated: 18 Dec 2018