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Homepage > About Crisis Group

About Crisis Group

The International Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflict.

Crisis Group's Board of Trustees

Crisis Group's Board is co-chaired by Lord (Mark) Malloch-Brown, former UN Deputy Secretary-General and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Ghassan Salamé, Dean, Paris School of International Affairs, Sciences Po. The Board also has one Vice-Chair, Ayo Obe, Legal Practitioner, Columnist and TV Presenter, Nigeria.

See our full Board of Trustees.

Crisis Group's President

Crisis Group’s President and CEO is Jean-Marie Guéhenno. He succeeds Louise Arbour, who served as President from 2009 - 2014, and before her, Gareth Evans, who held the post from 2000 - 2009.

Our Mission and Method

Field Work, Analysis, Advocacy


Crisis Group decides which situations to cover based on a number of factors. These include: the seriousness of a situation, whether we can add value to international understanding and response, whether we have or can raise the necessary resources to ensure high-quality reporting and effective follow-through, and whether we can safely operate in the field.

Policy and Operations

Operating in the field

Turkey Syria

Crisis Group’s analysts are drawn mostly from experienced former diplomats, journalists, academics and NGO staff, often leading world experts in their areas. Of 116 positions on 1 February 2014, 63 were based in the field in 26 locations. Others worked from our Brussels head office and other key regional offices. Security for our field staff is monitored by a security team that meets on an ongoing basis.

Determining policy

In the initial drafting of reports and briefing papers, field analysts work with our regional program directors. A research and advocacy team in Brussels also provides input, especially on EU and NATO developments, while our Washington and New York advocacy offices assist with U.S. and UN perspectives, supplementing our national and regional advocacy in Beijing, Istanbul, Johannesburg, Nairobi and elsewhere. The policy prescriptions attached to Crisis Group reports are settled with input from field and senior staff, and Board members, as well as consultation with governments, inter-governmental organisations, academics and other think-tanks and NGOs.

Getting the story out


Strong advocacy means effective communication. Crisis Group reports and briefing papers go to tens of thousands of targeted recipients (including government ministers, heads of international agencies, diplomats and officials in key roles, and journalists) as well as to the more than 200,000 subscribers who request specific types of mailings online. We also maintained top-level public exposure through quality mainstream media worldwide, an extensive social media presence, and influential commentary published in multiple languages.

High-level advocacy


Much of Crisis Group’s most successful advocacy is done behind closed doors, requiring access to policymakers in major international centres and in the regions where we operate. In 2013, offices in Brussels, Washington and New York continued to ensure Crisis Group has the access and influence at the highest levels of the U.S. and European governments, as well as with the UN, EU and NATO. Our Beijing office ensures Crisis Group’s influence in China. Our teams spread out over offices in five continents have increased Crisis Group’s worldwide access and impact.

Crisis Group Approach: Three Basic Elements

1. Expert field research and analysis

Crisis Group’s credibility is founded on its field-based research. Our analysts are based in or near many of the world’s trouble spots, where there is concern about the possible outbreak of conflict, its escalation or recurrence. Their main task is to find out what is happening and why. They identify the underlying political, social and economic factors creating the conditions for conflict, as well as the more immediate causes of tension. They find the people who matter and discover what or who influences them. And they consider the actual and potential role for other countries and inter-govern-mental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and African Union.

2. Practical, imaginative policy prescriptions

Crisis Group’s task is not merely to understand conflict but to prevent, contain and resolve it. That means identifying the levers that can be pulled and those who can pull them, whether political, legal, financial or ultimately, military. Some of these prescriptions require action by the national government or local actors; others require the commitment of other governments or international organisations. Some will be within the current marketplace of received ideas; others will be over the horizon but nonetheless the right way forward. These policy prescriptions, along with our field-based research and analysis, are presented in succinct, timely and readable reports.

3. Effective, high-level advocacy

Identifying the problem and the appropriate response is still only part of the story. All too often the missing ingredient is the “political will” to take the necessary action. Crisis Group’s task is not to lament its absence but to work out how to mobilise it. That means persuading policymakers directly or through others who influence them, not least the media. That in turn means having the right arguments: moral, political, legal and financial. And it means having the ability to effectively deploy those arguments, with people of the right credibility and capacity. Crisis Group’s board is instrumental in giving us access at high levels of governments.

Crisis Group Operations Around the World


Crisis Group's international headquarters is in Brussels. 

The organisation also has offices or representation in the following locations: 

Abuja, Bangkok, Beijing, Beirut, Bishkek, Bogotá, Cairo, Dakar, Gaza, Islamabad, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Johannesburg, Kabul, London, Mexico City, Nairobi, New York, Seoul, Tbilisi, Tripoli, Tunis and Washington DC. 

Crisis Group field analysts cover the following countries:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan (including Nagorno - Karabakh), Bangladesh, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, China/Japan, Colombia, Côte d’ Ivoire, Cyprus, DR Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Indonesia,   Iran, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia (North Caucasus), Somalia, South Korea, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

Our Funding

Income 2013

Total unrestricted income for annual operations for the financial year ending 30 June 2013 was $18.3 million, of which 84% was core contributions. Total expenditure for the financial year ending 30 June 2013 was $21.9 million. Contributed services comprising various professional services are reflected in the unrestricted core contributions and administrative expenditure totals. The value of these contributions for the year ending 30 June 2013 was $1.25 million. Without these contributions the expenditure ratios would be as follows: Development: 7%; Administration: 10%; Advocacy: 23%; Operations (Programs): 60%.

For more on Crisis Group funding please view the financial statements for the year ended 30 June 2014 and Form 990 for the year ended 30 June 2013.

Our History

Crisis Group was founded in 1995 as an international non-governmental organisation on the initiative of a group of well-known transatlantic figures who despaired at the international community’s failure to anticipate and respond effectively to the tragedies in the early 1990s of Somalia, Rwanda and Bosnia. They were led by Morton Abramowitz (former U.S. Ambassador to Turkey and Thailand, then President of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace), Mark Malloch-Brown (former head of the UN Development Programme, then UN Deputy Secretary-General and UK Minister), and its first Chairman, Senator George Mitchell. The idea was to create a new organisation – unlike any other – with a highly professional staff acting as the world’s eyes and ears for impending conflicts, and with a highly influential board that could mobilise effective action from the world’s policymakers.

The International Crisis Group is today generally regarded as the world's leading source of information, analysis and policy advice on preventing and resolving deadly conflict.

This page in:

Crisis Group 15 Years: 1995-2010

To mark the occasion of Crisis Group's 15 year anniversary, we released two special publications:

Brochure: 15 Years on the Front Lines
Multimedia Presentation: Crisis Group 15 Years

Strategic Framework

Our Strategic Framework sets out Crisis Group’s strategic framework for the financial years 2011–2014.


Crisis Group's Official Accreditation with the OECD DAC


In June 2010, Crisis Group obtained official accreditation as an international development organisation from the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, in recognition of the specific role Crisis Group plays in and for the benefit of developing countries, and for the close intersection between security issues and development outcomes.