Dr Merriden Varrall heads up the Australia Geopolitics Hub at KPMG, where she helps business understand and navigate the complex global geopolitical environment. She provides business-relevant insights into global, regional and local geopolitical trends and works with clients to develop strategies and solutions.
A former UN diplomat based in China, Merriden is a sought-after commentator on geopolitics, East Asia, China’s foreign policy, and Australia’s bilateral relationship with China.
From 2014-2018, Merriden was the Director of the Lowy Institute’s East Asia Program. Before joining the Institute, Merriden 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.
Merriden 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.
Merriden 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. 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.
PhD, Chinese foreign and development policy
Masters of International Affairs, ANU
Bachelor of Communications/Political Science in International Studies, UTS