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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

27 Oct 2019
A successful agreement [between the Yemeni government and southern secessionists] would keep a lid on violence long enough to allow progress in other parts of the country. Financial Times

April Longley Alley

Deputy Program Director, Middle East and North Africa
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

Latest Updates

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.

The Counter-productive Isolation of Proud and Hungry Sanaa

Our Arabian Peninsula Senior Analyst April Longley Alley finds pride, resilience and an eagerness to end the conflict during field research and many conversations in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. She concludes that isolating one side or making the famine and suffering worse will only prolong the war.

Also available in العربية

How All Sides of Yemen’s War Are Weaponising Hunger and Creating a Famine

With the world's largest hunger crisis, Yemen sits precariously on the brink of famine. Avoiding it will require all warring parties to desist from weaponising Yemen's increasingly fragile economy and return to the negotiating table.

Originally published in World Politics Review

The Houthis Are Not Hezbollah

Donald Trump wants to ramp up Yemen's proxy fight against Iran. One small problem: Tehran doesn't really have a proxy there.

Originally published in Foreign Policy

Also available in العربية