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Stephen Pomper

Program Director, United States
Washington, D.C.

Crisis Group Role

Steve Pomper is based in Washington, D.C. and is the Director of Crisis Group’s U.S. Program.

Professional Background

Prior to joining Crisis Group, Stephen served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Multilateral Affairs and Human Rights at the National Security Council under President Obama. He also served as the Senior Director for African Affairs. Prior to joining the staff of the National Security Council, he served in a variety of roles with the Office of the Legal Adviser at the U.S. Department of State, where he specialised in international humanitarian and human rights law, including as the Assistant Legal Adviser for Political-Military Affairs and acting Assistant Legal Adviser for Afghanistan, Pakistan and South and Central Asian Affairs.

Outside government, Stephen has been a Senior Policy Scholar at the U.S. Institute of Peace and a Leonard and Sophie Davis Genocide Prevention Distinguished Fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and was in private practice at Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. He is a non-residential Senior Fellow at the Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute and the NYU Law School Center on Law and Security, and a Guest Author for the Just Security web blog. Stephen received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College, summa cum laude, and his law degree from Yale Law School.

Languages

  • English (native)
     

In The News

9 Oct 2018
[Nikki Haley] was a divisive force, attacking institutions and NGOs that serve transparency and basic rights and working to transform humanitarian assistance into a political weapon. Foreign Policy

Stephen Pomper

Program Director, United States
19 Jun 2018
[The UN Human Rights Council is] an imperfect body but it has a decent track record. It could get better, but it stands a worse chance of doing so if the U.S. takes its ball and goes home and allows it to become a playground for strongmen. Bloomberg

Stephen Pomper

Program Director, United States
28 May 2018
[South Korean] President Moon has brought South Korea into the middle of the frame (...) and he again showed Trump the mesmerizing all-consuming media impact that a summit can have — something that’s bound to appeal.”​ Time

Stephen Pomper

Program Director, United States
23 Apr 2018
Une certaine alchimie se développe entre [Président Trump et Président Macron] et qu’elle leur est mutuellement bénéfique. Il a eu un certain nombre de gestes qui ont démontré une forme de respect et cela était manifestement très important pour Président Trump. Radio France International

Stephen Pomper

Program Director, United States
12 Apr 2018
Normalement, ces avertissements servent à minimiser les risques d’escalade, par exemple, si les forces russes sont frappées par inadvertance. Mais le tweet était une provocation. Il jette de l’huile sur le feu. Le Temps

Stephen Pomper

Program Director, United States
12 Apr 2018
When [former U.S. Secretary of State Tillerson] had conversations with foreign leaders, it was often questioned whether or not he was really representing President Trump's views. I don't think Secretary Pompeo will have that problem. VOA

Stephen Pomper

Program Director, United States

Latest Updates

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 / United States

Why Trump Should Take It Slow With Kim Jong Un

Any successful deal with North Korea will require an extraordinary amount of patience and attention to detail.

Originally published in Politico Magazine

Commentary / United States

Eight Big Questions on War and Peace for Mike Pompeo 

With a dizzying range of international crises and conflicts facing the U.S., the confirmation hearing of incoming Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday 12 April is a chance to gauge the administration's future tack. Crisis Group's U.S. Program Director Stephen Pomper identifies eight critical issues that are likely to dominate Pompeo's incumbency and that senators should raise. 

Op-Ed / United States

The US and ICC May Still Steer Past Each Other–Why and How

Since the International Criminal Court's prosecutor announced that she would seek permission to open an investigation into the situation in Afghanistan, the United States and the ICC have been on a slow motion collision course. The stakes are high for the court, and how these maneuvers unfold could have a profound impact on its future work.

Originally published in Just Security

Commentary / United States

Congress Should Help Rein In Trump's New Pro-war National Security Advisor

Contrarian arguments about John Bolton – that he is smart and that his hawkishness might browbeat U.S. rivals into peace deals – look past a long record that suggests an appetite for forcible regime change, a capacity for shading the truth, and a failure to learn from past mistakes.