Ruth Harris

Photo of Ruth Harris
Research Group Director, Defence, Security and Infrastructure, RAND Europe
Cambridge Office


M.A. in defence and security, Kings College London; M.Sc. in conflict prevention and development management, The Open University; M.Sc. in logistics management, Lincoln University; M.Sc. in veterinary physiotherapy, Essex University; M.Phil. in international relations, Oxford University


Ruth Harris (she/her) is the director of the Defence, Security and Infrastructure Group at RAND Europe. Formerly she worked for 23 years in the UK Armed Forces and was employed for 5 years within humanitarian assistance and disaster relief. Her experience has focused on operational and geopolitical assessment, working with the UN, ICRC, NATO and Armed Forces from across Europe and the U.S.

Harris has an extensive track record in the contemporary and future operating environment, strategy, policy and conflict analysis. She has conducted evaluation of defence operations, grey zone conflicts and the future threat environment.  She has recently worked extensively on the impact of climate change on defence planning and security threats. She has conducted analysis on CT/CVE operations Africa, assessments in the movement of illicit arms and on operational deployments across Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and in humanitarian and disaster relief operations in Kenya, Pakistan, Haiti and Indonesia. She was a senior analyst for the transition processes in Afghanistan and supported work in the field of WPS in Iraq and Afghanistan working alongside the UN. Her experience with NATO also includes appointments within NATO HQ and SHAPE - CIMIC and Plans (J5). As a senior research fellow at the Changing Character of War Centre, Oxford University, she studied future threats and innovation in conflict. Harris holds a M.Phil. in international relations (Oxford), an M.A. in defence and security studies (Kings College London), an M.Sc. in conflict studies and disaster response, and an M.Sc. in logistics management. 

Recent Projects

  • Violence Against Healthcare
  • A Changing Climate. Defence response to climate change
  • Enhancing deterrence and defence on NATO’s northern flank Allied perspectives on strategic options for Norway
  • Measuring the Risk of Terrorism
  • Integrated Air and Missile Defence




  • Security Cooperation

    Standing Together on NATO's North Flank: UK-Norwegian Defence Cooperation

    The UK and Norway share a long and close history, bound by shared experiences as seafaring nations whose political, cultural, and economic development have been shaped in part by their exploitation of the North Sea and North Atlantic. Much could remain to be gained from continuing to deepen and evolve their longstanding partnership to meet the new challenges of the 21st century.

    Dec 9, 2020