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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

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.

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