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 Youtube

Robert Malley

President & CEO
Washington D.C., U.S. and Brussels, Belgium

Professional Background

Prior to rejoining Crisis Group, first as Vice President for Policy and since January 2018 as President & CEO, Robert Malley served in the Obama administration as Special Assistant to the President, Senior Adviser to the President for the Counter-ISIL Campaign, and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf region. He also served as Special Assistant to President Clinton for Arab-Israeli affairs and Director for Near East and South Asian affairs at the National Security Council.

Before joining the Obama administration, he was Program Director for Middle East and North Africa at Crisis Group, leading the organisation’s research, analysis, policy prescription and advocacy in and about the region.

Read a message from Robert Malleyor listen to a Global Dispatches podcast with him

Robert Malley is a graduate of Yale University, Harvard Law School and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is the author of “The Call from Algeria: Third Worldism, Revolution and the Turn to Islam” and, with Hussein Agha, of several articles, including “Camp David: The Tragedy of Errors ,” “The Last Negotiation,” “Three Men in a Boat,” “Hamas – The Perils of Power” and “The Arab Counter-Revolution.”  He has published articles in the New York Review of Books, Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Le Monde and several other publications.

President’s Take

Every month, coinciding with the publication of our monthly conflict tracker CrisisWatch, Robert Malley writes a President's Take column, in which he reflects on some of the most important updates from conflicts and crisis around the world.

In The News

2 Oct 2019
The debate about [whether] US should distance itself from the [Mideast] region and reduce its military footprint is important but somewhat beside the point. The more consequential question is what kind of Middle East the United States will remain engaged in or disengaged from. Twitter

Robert Malley

President & CEO
20 Jun 2019
[Trump] says he’s in favor of maximum pressure and he’s against military confrontation when it comes to Iran but both of those things can’t be true because one of those things can lead to the other. The New York Times

Robert Malley

President & CEO
9 May 2019
The reckless foreign policy decision by Trump to walk away from a deal that was working has now placed the United States into a corner with no realistic strategy for how to get out. The Hill

Robert Malley

President & CEO
4 Apr 2019
The United States' [Congress] patience for the Yemen war is coming to a rapid end. So too should the war itself. AFP

Robert Malley

President & CEO
21 Mar 2019
[President Trump's recognition of the Golan] is intensely political...an ominous step at a time when voices in Israel calling for the annexation of the West Bank are growing louder. The Guardian

Robert Malley

President & CEO
9 Mar 2019
The U.S. has a long history of seeking regime change and a much shorter list of successful endeavors. Politico

Robert Malley

President & CEO

Latest Updates

The Unwanted Wars

Why the Middle East Is More Combustible Than Ever

Originally published in Foreign Affairs

President's Take

U.S. and Iran Cannot Both Be Right, and Both Risk Being Wrong

In his introduction to this month's edition of CrisisWatch, Crisis Group's conflict tracker, our President Robert Malley reflects on how, in the absence of talks, the U.S.-Iran standoff and the Afghanistan war risk going from bad to worse. In Sudan, however, he sees hope for a new era.

President's Take

The Dangers of Ignoring Yemen's Southern Question

In his introduction to this month's edition of CrisisWatch, Crisis Group's conflict tracker, our President Robert Malley reflects on signs of hope in Afghanistan and Sudan, and on dangerous new developments in southern Yemen.

President's Take

How the U.S. and Iran Can Step Away from a Conflagration

In his introduction to this month's edition of CrisisWatch, Crisis Group's conflict tracker, our President Robert Malley urges the U.S. and Iran to step back from a dangerous conflagration and calls for the immediate release of our colleague Michael Kovrig from arbitrary detention in China. 

How Japan Can Help the U.S. De-escalate with Iran

As Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe visits Iran, President & CEO Robert Malley tells CNN Today that Japan has the capacity to mediate between the U.S. and Iran at a time of heightened tensions. 

Originally published in CNN Today