Dr Merriden Varrall

Dr Merriden Varrall is a UTS:ACRI Advisory Board member and Director of the Australia Geopolitics Hub at KPMG, where she provides business-relevant insights into global, regional and local geopolitical trends.

From 2014- 2018, Dr Varrall was the Director of the Lowy Institute’s East Asia Program, where she is a non-resident fellow. Before joining the Institute, Dr Varrall was the Assistant Country Director and Senior Policy Advisor at United Nations Development Programme, China, where she worked on China’s role in the world, focusing on its international development cooperation policy. Prior to that she worked for the Australian Government Treasury and the Department of Family and Community Services.

Dr Varrall spent almost eight years living and working in China, including lecturing in foreign policy at the China Foreign Affairs University and conducting fieldwork for her doctoral research. Dr Varrall has a PhD examining Chinese foreign policy from Macquarie University, Sydney, and the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. She has a Master’s Degree in International Affairs from the Australian National University, and completed her undergraduate studies in international studies at the University of Technology Sydney.

Dr Varrall is a sought-after commentator on geopolitics, East Asia, China’s foreign policy, and Australia’s bilateral relationship with China. Her analyses have appeared in academic journals, as well as publications such as The Quarterly, The New York Times, Nikkei Asian Review, Foreign Policy, The East Asia Forum, and the Lowy Interpreter, among others.