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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

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
12 Feb 2019
Stakes are high for Nigeria and the region. A vote marred in controversy and violence inevitably would hinder efforts to address the country’s security and economic challenges. African Arguments

Robert Malley

President & CEO

Latest Updates

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

Yemen Cannot Afford to Wait

The scars in the country run deep – and the U.S. shares responsibility.

Also available in العربية

Why Research on Gender and Conflict Matters

At Crisis Group, we believe the interaction of gender and conflict is of central importance. But we consider carefully what a gender perspective entails and the conceptual pitfalls we should avoid. For instance, women are not just victims, but have agency and choice.

Also available in Español, Français

What We Heard in Caracas

President Trump’s tough talk and actions opened the door for change in Venezuela. Now the U.S. must avoid hardline inflexibility that could close it, ending the chance of achieving internal peace through an interim power arrangement between the country’s duelling presidents.


Also available in Español
Commentary / Global

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2019

As U.S. leadership of the international order fades, more countries are seeking to bolster their influence by meddling in foreign conflicts. In this new era of limit testing, Crisis Group’s President Robert Malley lists the Ten Conflicts to Watch in 2019.