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Robert Malley

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

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.

In The News

17 Oct 2018
Secretary Pompeo was put in an almost impossible situation from the outset: traveling to meet with people [in Saudi Arabia] suspected of having ordered a political assassination at the request of a president determined to sweep the affair under the rug. The New York Times

Robert Malley

President & CEO
10 Oct 2018
Although from a distance the U.S.-Saudi relationship appears rock solid, there are cracks in the foundation. The New York Times

Robert Malley

President & CEO
7 Oct 2018
The notion that Iran is going to be asked to leave [Syria] or be forced out in the foreseeable future is illusory. Iran has been the Assad regime’s longest, most consistent and reliable ally. The Arab Weekly

Robert Malley

President & CEO
3 Oct 2018
By escalating tensions and forfeiting diplomacy [with Iran, the Trump administration] risks putting us on a path toward conflict in the Middle East. The New York Times

Robert Malley

President & CEO
23 Sep 2018
The [U.S.] president is prepared to bluster and threaten, but he also wants to achieve the deal of the century. With North Korea, it worked because he had a willing partner. The problem he’s going to face with Iran is that the leaders there believe a meeting would validate his strategy The New York Times

Robert Malley

President & CEO
13 Sep 2018
By punishing the Palestinians, the [Trump] administration unwittingly is liberating them from former restraints under which they had operated since Oslo in order to placate the U.S. and Israel. The New York Times

Robert Malley

President & CEO

Latest Updates

Op-Ed / United States

Elections de mi-mandat : des effets contradictoires sur la politique étrangère américaine ?

Robert Malley, président de l’International Crisis Group et ancien conseiller spécial de Barack Obama, considère, dans une tribune au « Monde », que le succès des démocrates aux élections de mi-mandat risque de pousser la diplomatie de Trump à être encore moins dans la retenue.

Originally published in Le Monde

Op-Ed / United States

Trump’s Refugee Fiasco

The administration just slashed the number of refugees the U.S. will admit to a record low. Its reasoning doesn’t pass the laugh test.

Originally published in Politico

Op-Ed / Africa

What Happens in the Gulf Doesn’t Stay in the Gulf

A year after the Qatar crisis began, it’s having potentially dangerous reverberations in the Horn of Africa.

Originally published in The Atlantic

The President’s Take | Syria and Venezuela in CrisisWatch

Our President Robert Malley’s monthly column to accompany the CrisisWatch conflict tracker for February/March 2018 looks at how outside actors are now openly fighting over Syria, not for Syria. He also flags more bad news from Venezuela, and our upcoming report on what to do about it.