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April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
Project Director, Arabian Peninsula

Crisis Group Role

April Longley Alley is the Deputy Program Director for the Middle East and North Africa for the International Crisis Group. She joined Crisis Group in 2010, originally working as the Senior Yemen Analyst and from 2017 as the Arabian Peninsula Project Director.

Professional Background

From June 2018 to January 2019, Dr. Alley took leave to serve as a Senior Political Advisor to the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen. She traveled extensively with the Envoy and participated in two rounds of UN-led political consultations. Prior to joining Crisis Group, she worked as a Research Associate for the National Defense University’s Center for Applied Strategic Learning in Washington, DC. She holds a MA in Arab Studies and a PhD in Government from Georgetown University. A former Fulbright and David L. Boren fellow, Dr. Alley has written extensively on Yemen for a variety of publications including Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, PS: Political Science and Politics, The Middle East Journal, and the Journal of Democracy, among others. She has conducted fieldwork in Yemen since 2004 and is a regular contributor to media outlets including: The New York Times, The Washington Post, BBC, NPR and Al-Jazeera. She is a native speaker of English and has professional proficiency in Arabic.

Areas of Expertise

  • Middle East Politics with a special focus on Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula
  • Theories of political development
  • Comparative autocracy
  • Mediation

Languages

  • English (native)
  • Arabic (professional proficiency)

In The News

3 Feb 2018
The narrative of a ‘legitimate government’ [in Yemen] fighting the ‘Iranian-backed Houthis’ obscures a complex local reality, and it hinders efforts to achieve peace. The Washington Post

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
22 Jan 2018
[In early 2011] we were all debating what [the Arab Spring] would mean for Yemen, exactly, and I remember [Sana'a's mayor Abdulqader Hilal] saying it wouldn’t be the same. The New Yorker

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
20 Dec 2017
Les [rebelles] houthistes [du Yémen] considèrent [les] tirs [de missiles balistique sur Riyad] comme leur meilleure chance de forcer Riyad à chercher un compromis. Le Monde

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
14 Dec 2017
Most people agree at this point that the Saudis are facing a legitimate security threat and that Iran is part of the problem. By continuing down this road, things will just get worse. The Washington Post

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
12 Dec 2017
[Yemen's coalition] policy of trying to split the Houthi-Saleh alliance has backfired dramatically. The Times

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
4 Dec 2017
[The death of Yemen's President] Saleh in this way is more than likely going to bring more pain for Yemen. If Saudi Arabia wanted a negotiated exit, that opportunity seems lost for now. The New York Times

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa

Latest Updates

Eight Days in Aden – a Forgotten City in Yemen’s Forgotten War

Two and a half years after the last major fighting in the southern port city of Aden, officially Yemen’s “temporary capital”, our Arabian Peninsula Project Director April Longley Alley finds a patchwork of rival armed forces, buildings in ruins and political groups’ effective steps toward autonomy, if not outright separation.

Also available in العربية

The Killing of Former President Saleh Could Worsen Yemen’s War

The dramatic collapse of the Huthi-Saleh alliance is likely to prolong Yemen’s war and the suffering of its people. After killing former President Saleh, the Huthis, viewed by their enemies in Riyadh as Iranian proxies, are firmly in control of the capital. Neither they, nor the Saudis, are in a mood for compromise.

Also available in العربية

A Huthi Missile, a Saudi Purge and a Lebanese Resignation Shake the Middle East

Volatility is rising across the Middle East as local, regional and international conflicts increasingly intertwine and amplify each other. Four Crisis Group analysts give a 360-degree view of the new risks of overlapping conflicts that involve Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Lebanon and Israel.