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Richard Gowan

UN Director
New York

Crisis Group Role

Richard oversees Crisis Group’s advocacy work at the United Nations, liaising with diplomats and UN officials in New York.

Professional Background

Richard was previously a Consulting Analyst with ICG in 2016 and 2017. He has worked with the European Council on Foreign Relations, New York University Center on International Cooperation and the Foreign Policy Centre (London). He has taught at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University and Stanford in New York. He has also worked as a consultant for the organisations including UN Department of Political Affairs, the UN Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Rasmussen Global, the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Global Affairs Canada. From 2013 to 2019, he wrote a weekly column (“Diplomatic Fallout”) for World Politics Review.

Areas of Expertise

  • The United Nations system
  • Security Council
  • Peacekeeping
  • European security
  • Early warning and conflict prevention

In The News

3 May 2022
If the only message the Kremlin hears is that the United States is ready for a long war [in Ukraine], Moscow is likely to double down, making a long conflict entirely unavoidable. El País

Richard Gowan

UN Director
9 Apr 2022
I don't think Russia helped its case by asking countries like Syria to defend it at the UN I think that it actually emphasized how isolated it is with the broader UN membership over Ukraine. NPR

Richard Gowan

UN Director
13 Mar 2022
China doesn’t want to break off with Russia. It needs Russia as a partner. But, equally, it doesn’t want to take the reputational damage of being seen to be an accomplice to this war. Hindustan Times

Richard Gowan

UN Director
2 Mar 2022
[The UN resolution] isn’t going to stop Russian forces in their stride, but it’s a pretty enormous diplomatic win for the Ukrainians and the US, and everyone who has got behind them. The Guardian

Richard Gowan

UN Director
7 Feb 2022
By adopting radical transparency, the US is complicating Russia’s task of disseminating disinformation about its actions. El País

Richard Gowan

UN Director
31 Jan 2022
The U.S. and its allies will use the U.N. as a political theater where they can publicly shame Russia in the event of war [in Ukraine]. Reuters

Richard Gowan

UN Director

Latest Updates

Speech / Global

The Ukraine War and UN Reform

The text below is an extended version of a lecture given to the Geneva Centre for Security Policy on 3 May 2022.

A Tentative First Look at Options for Peace Operations in Ukraine

With the war in Ukraine raging, and no sign of an exit in view, a Polish peacekeeping proposal is unlikely to gather steam. But it is not too early for policymakers to start thinking about what tasks a future peace operation might undertake.

The UN Is Another Casualty of Russia’s War

Why the Organization Might Never Bounce Back.

Originally published in Foreign Affairs

Any Hope Left For Diplomacy Over Ukraine?

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood hosts a two-part episode on the Ukraine war, talking to Crisis Group’s Europe/Central Asia director Olga Oliker about the fighting and Western policy and then to UN director, Richard Gowan, about dynamics at the UN and how the world has reacted.

The Ukraine War: A Global Crisis?

The overwhelming support for a UN resolution condemning Russia’s invasion shows that countries around the world see it as attacking global norms. Yet policymakers also view the crisis in terms of their own national interest. Crisis Group experts assess the war from thirteen vantage points.

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