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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

29 Apr 2020
Covid-19 has laid bare the costs of confronting a global crisis with a flawed international system. The only worse outcome would be to confront the next crisis with no system at all. Gulf Times

Robert Malley

President & CEO
5 Mar 2020
If you’re Iran right now, the tools you have in your arsenal are an ability to expand your nuclear arsenal, roil markets or threaten regional countries and the U.S. presence within them. Washington Post

Robert Malley

President & CEO
29 Feb 2020
No agreement is perfect, and the U.S.-Taliban deal is no exception. It ought to be celebrated, bolstered and built upon to reach genuine intra-Afghan peace. Al Jazeera

Robert Malley

President & CEO
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

Latest Updates

Gulf Tensions Could Trigger a Conflict Nobody Wants

Crisis Group’s President & CEO Robert Malley on 20 October 2020 addressed the UN Security Council on the danger of conflict in the Gulf and across the Middle East. An inclusive regional security dialogue may be unlikely, he said, but it would be irresponsible not to try.

President's Take

Crisis Group Turns Focus to Risk of Electoral Violence in the U.S.

In his introduction to this month’s edition of CrisisWatch, our President Robert Malley reflects on Crisis Group's decision to focus on the risk of violence surrounding the upcoming U.S. elections.

Climate Change Doesn’t Have to Stoke Conflict

Politics matter more than the environment when it comes to war and peace

Originally published in Foreign Affairs

Contentious Polls Spell Trouble in Africa

In his introduction to this month’s edition of CrisisWatch, our President Robert Malley reflects on the risk of violence in a number of upcoming African elections.

President's Take

A Critical Crossroads for Libya, Afghanistan and the Nile Waters Dispute

In his introduction to this month’s edition of CrisisWatch, our President Robert Malley reflects on critical crossroads for protracted conflicts in Libya and Afghanistan, and a possible turning point in the Nile Waters dispute.