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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

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
8 May 2020
The UN Security Council has lost some credibility as the weeks have gone by, mainly thanks to U.S. obstructionism. Reuters

Richard Gowan

UN Director
20 Apr 2020
The Americans have insisted that any Council resolution [...] should explicitly reference its origins in China [...]. The world's top powers are indulging in a silly blame game in a moment of crisis." Swissinfo

Richard Gowan

UN Director

Latest Updates

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. 

Repairing the Damage to U.S. Diplomacy in the UN Security Council

The incoming Biden administration faces a tall order in Turtle Bay: healing the wounds its predecessor inflicted upon U.S. relations with fellow Security Council members while addressing differences that go back further than four years. Nevertheless, it has several opportunities for restoring Washington’s international engagement.

Op-Ed / Europe & Central Asia

Germany’s Tenure on the UN Security Council

Is the glass half full or half empty? Germany's tenure on the UN Security Council in review.

Originally published in Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung

Speech / Multilateral Diplomacy

UN Peacekeeping in a Fragmenting International Order

This is an edited version of remarks originally given to a roundtable on “The Geostrategic Environment and International Responses to Conflict” organised by the UN Department of Peace Operations on 25 November 2020.