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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

25 Oct 2019
There is no doubt that Russia is much more actively engaged on African issues in the Security Council than was the case five years or 10 years ago. Foreign Policy

Richard Gowan

UN Director
27 Sep 2019
This is a case where the UN should aim to be ‘best supporting actor’ rather than the star, bringing economic expertise to back up the AU’s work on Sudan’s transition. Foreign Policy

Richard Gowan

UN Director
20 Sep 2019
Trump likes to present himself as a peacemaker — he clearly isn't succeeding in that when it comes to dealing with Iran — so the Korean issue is the one that he will strongly emphasize. Voice of America

Richard Gowan

UN Director
11 Jun 2019
While Russia is very keen for the Europeans to start funding Syrian reconstruction, most big EU donors want to set very strict conditions for doing so while Assad is in power. The National

Richard Gowan

UN Director
22 May 2019
It is easy to single out the U.N.'s failures in cases such as Syria, but the organization has played a unique role in mitigating inter-state tensions. CBS News

Richard Gowan

UN Director
21 May 2019
On the whole UK diplomacy at the UN has been quite good on a number of issues. But the colonial legacy resonates so deeply at the general assembly. The Guardian

Richard Gowan

UN Director

Latest Updates

Commentary / Global

Three Troubling Trends at the UN Security Council

China and the West are increasingly at loggerheads in Turtle Bay. So are European capitals and Washington. The handling of African crises is contentious as well. Amid these frictions, it is the job of UN diplomats to keep channels for quiet communication up and running.

Q&A / Global

What Changed for the World’s Conflicts at the UN General Assembly?

The annual United Nations General Assembly high-level session in the last week of September offered leaders and diplomats the chance to address today’s gravest crises. UN Director Richard Gowan and Senior Analyst Ashish Pradhan reflect on what happened and its potential impact on crisis diplomacy.

Q&A / Global

UN Strengthens Peacekeeping Despite U.S. Scepticism

This Friday, the UN hosts the 2019 Peacekeeping Ministerial Conference, an opportunity for politicians and diplomats to fill gaps in blue helmet missions. In this Q&A, Crisis Group’s UN Director Richard Gowan previews the agenda.

Op-Ed / Global

Die Brückenbauer

Wie „Framework Diplomacy" auch unüberbrückbar scheinende Konflikte bewältigen kann.