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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

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
8 Apr 2020
This crisis has shown that neither China nor the U.S. is ready and able to lead the U.N. system. Foreign Policy

Richard Gowan

UN Director

Latest Updates

Q&A / Multilateral Diplomacy

Behind the Snapback Debate at the UN

In mid-August, Washington notified the UN Security Council that it was launching a 30-day process to “snap back” UN sanctions against Iran. In this Q&A, Crisis Group experts Richard Gowan, Ashish Pradhan and Naysan Rafati explain what this step implies for the 2015 nuclear agreement.

Also available in العربية, فارسی

Salvaging the Security Council’s Coronavirus Response

On 1 July, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution calling for a global COVID-19 ceasefire, as the Secretary-General had urged months earlier. Their appeal has fallen flat. Council members should use their August downtime to look at how it might still do some good.

Speech / Global

What’s Happened to the UN Secretary-General’s COVID-19 Ceasefire Call?

This is an expanded and updated version of remarks originally given to a conference organised by Mitvim – the Israeli Institute for Regional Foreign Policies and the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem on 17 May 2020. A conference summary is available here.

Op-Ed / Global

Remembering Javier Pérez de Cuéllar’s “Piecemeal” Approach to UN Peacemaking

Javier Pérez de Cuéllar, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, died this week.  In this piece, originally published in World Politics Review in February, our UN Director assesses his legacy.

Originally published in World Politics Review