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

28 Jan 2020
[Trump's peace plan's] message to the Palestinians, boiled down to its essence, is: You’ve lost, get over it. Reuters

Robert Malley

President & CEO
2 Jan 2020
A strike that the [U.S] administration claims was intended to deter Iranian attacks is almost certain to trigger far more of them. Foreign Policy

Robert Malley

President & CEO
12 Dec 2019
Wishful thinking about regime change in the Middle East is something we have seen before. It has rarely ended well. Foreign Policy

Robert Malley

President & CEO
10 Dec 2019
It doesn’t take anyone with a high degree in political science to understand why Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor were arrested when they were. Washington Post

Robert Malley

President & CEO
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

Latest Updates

The Ripple Effects of the Latest U.S.-Iran Escalation

In his introduction to this month’s edition of CrisisWatch, Crisis Group’s conflict tracker, our President Robert Malley reflects on the consequences of President Trump’s decision to kill Qassem Soleimani, Head of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Quds Force.

A Perilous Turning Point in the U.S.-Iran Confrontation

With the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the U.S.-Iran standoff has shifted from attrition toward open conflict. Tehran will retaliate – the only question is how – prompting another response from Washington. Allies of both should intercede to stop the exchange from spinning out of control.

Also available in العربية
Commentary / Global

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2020

Friends and foes alike no longer know where the United States stands. As Washington overpromises and underdelivers, regional powers are seeking solutions on their own – both through violence and diplomacy.

Also available in العربية
Open Letter / Africa

Open Letter to the Friends of Sudan

While Sudan has embarked on a path toward democratic and accountable government, economic fragility threatens to derail its transition. The Friends of Sudan should bolster the civilian-led administration with urgently-needed financial support and call for an African Union envoy to help keep the transition on track.

Op-Ed / Asia

Why China must send Michael Kovrig home

Michael Kovrig’s detention is unjust and inhumane. It should not have lasted one hour, let alone one year.

Originally published in The Washington Post