Meet Rawan Alkhatib

Rawan, a global security senior analyst, shares how her role of protecting people gained even more urgency and importance as the Covid-19 pandemic started in early 2020.

"The great thing about working in the security industry is that our role is to protect people by staying ahead of developments and giving the right advice."

Rawan Alkhatib
Global Security Senior Analyst

A newly minted role

I joined BCG as the Safety and Security Analyst for the Middle East, a newly minted role. I was previously working for an international firm providing 24/7 security assistance to clients around the world.

At BCG, I started with a Middle Eastern focus, looking after business travel to higher-risk destinations and drafting evacuation plans. In January 2020, escalating global political maneuvers sparked my move to an advisory role for BCG leadership. In 2021, I moved to the Global team, where we’re standardizing our incident response plans and also working on our tactical response to new developments.

The great thing about this field is that our role is to protect people by staying ahead of developments and giving the right advice.

Dealing with the pandemic

Our focus shifted to the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. The pandemic completely changed my work landscape. Suddenly, we were knee-deep in keeping people safe in an immensely complex and rapidly changing environment. I was involved in monitoring speeds of contagion, contact tracing, staying abreast of travel restrictions, getting teams out before countries closed down, and dealing with business disruption.

It was a life-changing experience and led me to receive the “Conquering Complexity” award within the first six months of performing my role. I was nominated by my global peers. They announced the award while I was on a 16-hour flight to New York, and I landed to a flood of congratulatory messages. It was a great moment.

Making space for women

Women in security have not been very common, but that is slowly changing. I champion the cause of inclusion and diversity. I spoke on a panel at The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) Dubai chapter, discussing unconscious bias, especially in conservative environments. I was very proud to be on a panel of women with varied backgrounds, all succeeding in the field. Interestingly, women can gain access to more information than men in some cultural settings, such as speaking with wives of people of interest. It’s sometimes easier for women to have these honest conversations without putting people’s guard up.

A diverse city

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico. I’ve been in Dubai since 2017, when I moved after the island was devastated by a horrible hurricane. I’m Palestinian-Jordanian by heritage and I had wanted to connect with my Arab roots. Instead, I found myself connecting with people from the world over, with the same diversity that I had seen in the likes of Boston and Washington DC. The energy is wonderful.