Ruth Fincher is Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne. She is a Board member of the International Social Science Council and a past Vice President of the International Geographical Union.
An urban geographer with research and teaching interests in the urban outcomes of immigration and multiculturalism, diversity and difference in cities, gender issues, inequality and locational disadvantage, Professor Fincher is widely published internationally and has supervised many PhD students. Her writings include the books Planning and Diversity in the City: Redistribution, Recognition and Encounter, co-authored with Kurt Iveson (Palgrave Macmillan, London. 2008). Creating Unequal Futures Rethinking Inequality, Poverty and Disadvantage (Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 2001) co-edited with Peter Saunders, Australian Poverty: Then and Now (Melbourne University Press, 1998) co-edited with John Nieuwenhuysen, and Cities of Difference (Guilford Press, New York, 1998) co-edited with Jane Jacobs. International journals in which she has published recently include Social and Cultural Geography, Geoforum, Urban Studies and Geographical Research.
Professor Fincher was President of the University of Melbourne's Academic Board in 2013 and 2014 and Pro Vice Chancellor from 2011 to 2014. She held the University's Chair in Geography from 2007 to 2015. In 2008 she led the establishment of the first of the University of Melbourne’s interdisciplinary, research institutes, the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute (MSSI) . Prior to that, Ruth Fincher was Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning (2003-2006) and Professor of Urban Planning (1997-2006), also at the University of Melbourne. She was Director of the Australian Centre at the University of Melbourne in the mid 1990s, and held positions as Assistant Professor of Geography at McGill University (Canada), and McMaster University