Robert Malley is the new president and CEO of the International Crisis Group.

The International Crisis Group provides the public and policymakers with analysis of conflicts and potential ways out of conflict around the world. As regular listeners probably know, it is one of my go-to resources for understanding crises and conflicts around the world and analysts from the Crisis Group are frequently guests on the this show.

(In fact —  and I did not realize this when I reached out to Malley for the interview —  but I’ve now had every single president of the International Crisis Group as a guests on this show, including Gareth Evans, Louise Arbour and Rob’s immediate predecessor Jean-Marie Guehenno.)

We kick off discussing some of the priorities he’ll emphasize as the group’s new president and also some of the major conflicts and crises he’s monitoring as we enter the new year.

We then discuss his unique upbringing. As Rob describes it, his father was a Jewish Egyptian Arab nationalist who became a public intellectual and advocated on behalf of colonized people around the world.  He describes how that background will help to inform his work as head of the Crisis Group.

Rob served in the National Security Council staff of both the Clinton administration and the Obama administration. His last post in the White House was as the so-called ISIL Czar, coordinating policy against the Islamic State.

This is a fascinating conversation with a person who has been at the center of some key foreign policy debates in the last decade.

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