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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

9 Sep 2021
China and Russia are arguing for a pragmatic approach in dealing with Taliban [in Afghanistan]. For them, regional security interests come first. Bloomberg

Richard Gowan

UN Director
3 Sep 2021
At the end of the day, the Chinese and Russians aren’t going to sacrifice their relations with the Taliban on the altar of Western states’ concerns about human rights in Afghanistan. Foreign Policy

Richard Gowan

UN Director
24 Aug 2021
An economic collapse [in Afghanistan] would lead to exactly the outcomes the Europeans fear most: more violence and more refugees. The Economist

Richard Gowan

UN Director
2 Jul 2021
The fact that the U.S. and its allies have secured [a UNSC] meeting is itself a signal that Ethiopia has lost some credibility […] and it opens up the possibility that the Council will take further action down the road. CBS News

Richard Gowan

UN Director
9 Jun 2021
The U.S. is framing [the issue of aid to Syria] as a litmus test of the relationship with Moscow, not only over Syria but more generally. Foreign Policy

Richard Gowan

UN Director
5 Mar 2021
There will inevitably be calls for UN sanctions [against Myanmar], but I don’t think China and Russia are ready to go that far. Bloomberg

Richard Gowan

UN Director

Latest Updates

Can the UN Security Council Agree on a Climate Security Resolution?

UN Security Council members are negotiating over a draft resolution on climate security, which, if it passes, will be the first of its kind. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Ashish Pradhan, Ulrich Eberle and Richard Gowan explain what is at stake in the talks.

Op-Ed / United States

Biden Wants to Convince the U.N. That America Is Back. The World Isn’t So Sure.

The administration hasn’t shown much desire to work with the U.N. on recent crises, but Biden can use Covid-19 and climate change to make his case to the doubters.

Originally published in Politico

Commentary / Global

Learning to Live with a Limited Security Council

The UN Security Council has passed through periods of inaction before, but in recent years it seems unusually restrained. Major power politics are only one reason why. It may be time to accept that the body – while still useful – has built-in limits.

What Should Be on the Agenda for the UN Secretary-General’s EU Meetings

With Secretary-General António Guterres visiting Brussels, the UN and European Union have an opportunity to forge closer cooperation in global hotspots from Libya to Venezuela. Together, the two organisations can strengthen multilateral crisis management in a period of geopolitical tensions.