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Richard Atwood

Interim President
Brussels

Crisis Group Role

Richard Atwood is Crisis Group’s Interim President, based in Brussels.

Professional Background

For several years, Richard was Crisis Group’s chief of policy, working with regional programs and other colleagues to develop and promote the organisation’s analysis and prescriptions. Prior to that, he was New York director, representing Crisis Group at the United Nations. He helped pioneer the organisation’s cross-regional work, notably on Islamist militancy. Before moving to New York, he spent five years as Crisis Group’s research director in Brussels.

Before Crisis Group, Richard worked for some fifteen years across the Middle East, Africa, South Asia and Latin America for the UN and other organisations, with extended periods in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Nigeria, Kenya, Guatemala, Colombia and Peru. He has a Master’s Degree in public policy from Princeton University.

In The News

20 Jun 2017
The U.S. is worried that a [French] Security Council resolution [on an African counter-terror force in the Sahel] might open the door to funding at a time when cutting back their UN funding is a priority. Bloomberg

Richard Atwood

Interim President
8 Mar 2017
The us-and-them mentality [of the new UN counter-terrorism proposal means] the U.N. has been positioned even more forcefully on the government's side when it [is sometimes] already perceived as too close to the government. Foreign Policy

Richard Atwood

Interim President
2 Feb 2017
The longer the war continues in Yemen, the stronger al-Qaeda is likely to get. PBS Newshour

Richard Atwood

Interim President

Latest Updates

Delayed Palestinian Polls, Israeli Politics and U.S. Middle East Policy

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Daniel Levy, president of the U.S./Middle East Project, about “indefinitely postponed” Palestinian elections, Israeli politics, the Biden administration’s policy toward the conflict and what a rights-based approach would entail.

Violence in Somalia, Déby’s Death and Islamist Militancy in Africa

In his Interim President’s Take on this month’s CrisisWatch, Richard Atwood looks at what Somalia’s political crisis and Chadian President’s Idriss Déby’s death mean for Africa’s struggles against Islamist militancy.

Podcast / Africa

What Déby’s Death Means for Chad and the Region

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group experts Richard Moncrieff and Claudia Gazzini about the death of Chadian President Idriss Déby and its consequences for Chad and the region.

Rising Russia-Ukraine Tensions and the West

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Olga Oliker, Crisis Group’s Europe and Central Asia director, about the Russian military build-up around Ukraine, new U.S. sanctions on Russia and hostility between Russia and Ukraine and Western capitals.

Is the Gulf Dispute Actually Over?

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Dina Esfandiary, Crisis Group’s Senior Middle East Adviser, about whether the announcement of an end to the Gulf Cooperation Council dispute means the crisis is really over.