icon caret Arrow Down Arrow Left Arrow Right Arrow Up Line Camera icon set icon set Ellipsis icon set Facebook Favorite Globe Hamburger List Mail Map Marker Map Microphone Minus PDF Play Print RSS Search Share Trash Crisiswatch Alerts and Trends Box - 1080/761 Copy Twitter Video Camera  copyview Whatsapp Youtube

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

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
21 Sep 2020
Frankly, there’s a degree of exhaustion with this administration (the Trump Administration) in the Security Council. Foreign Policy

Richard Gowan

UN Director
15 Aug 2020
The fact is that everybody at the UN believes this (resolution) is just a prelude to a US effort to trigger snapback and sink the Iranian nuclear deal. The Asia Times

Richard Gowan

UN Director
5 Aug 2020
There's a very high level of concern that [COVID-19]'s economic impact is going to spark more disorder, more conflict. Japan Today

Richard Gowan

UN Director

Latest Updates

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.

Podcast / Global

UN Security Council Crankiness and Antonio Guterres' Re-election

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Richard Gowan, Crisis Group’s UN director, about UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ bid for a second term, the UN’s peacemaking under his leadership and challenges posed by a divided Security Council.

Explaining the UN Secretary-General’s Cautious Crisis Diplomacy

Facing intractable conflicts and great-power frictions, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has found it hard to deliver on his promised “surge in diplomacy for peace”. As he applies for a second term, it is worth contemplating why and how he can still leave his mark.

Commentary / Global

A Fresh Chance for the Security Council to Tackle COVID-19

A 26 February UN Security Council resolution could help facilitate COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in conflict areas. The Council should plan how to best implement these vaccination drives and, once vaccine supplies are sufficient, provide political and material support to those on the ground.