Afghan Biographies

Masood, Ahmad Zia Massood Massoud

Name Masood, Ahmad Zia Massood Massoud
Ethnic backgr. Tajik
Date of birth 1956
Function/Grade Ex presidential advisor
History and Biodata

2. Former Functions:
Ambassador to Russia (2002-2004),
First Vice President (2005-2009)
High Representative for Reform and Governance (20140930)
Special advisor on reforms and good governance to Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (20141027-20170418)

3. Biodata:
massoud_ahamad_ziaAhmad Zia Masood was born in Muqur (Ghazni) on May 1, 1956. He is a younger brother of Ahmad Shah Massoud. Ahmad Zia completed his secondary studies at the Lycée Esteqlal. In 1976, he was admitted to the Kabul Polytechnic Institute, where he studied for three years.

Following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, he traveled with his brother, Ahmad Shah Masood, to the Panjsher Valley with the first group of Mujahideen. For the next three years, he fought alongside his brother in the Panjsher against the Soviet forces. For the next 12 years, he represented the Panjsher front and served as the Special Representative of Ahmad Shah Masood in Pakistan. During this time, he worked closely with other Mujahideen commanders, international organizations, and countries that were supporting the Afghan resistance.

In the late 1990s, Ahmad Zia Masood continued his political and diplomatic activities, working to raise the profile of Afghanistan on the international stage, and to call attention to the horrors of the Taliban. After the fall of the Soviet-backed communist regime, Burhanuddin Rabbani, his father-in-law, chose him to be the advisor and special representative of the Islamic State of Afghanistan.

In December, 2002, he was appointed Ambassador of Afghanistan to the Russian Federation, a post he maintained until July, 2004, when he returned to Afghanistan at the request of President Karzai, and agreed to run in the elections for the position of Vice-President.. Ahmad Zia Masood was sworn in as First Vice-President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on December 7, 2004. In the 2009 presidential elections Karzai dropped Massoud in his ticket in favor of Mohammad Qasim Fahim.

Newsweek revealed that Afghanistan's former vice president, Ahmed Zia Massood, was carrying $52 million in cash on a trip to the gulf city-state Dubai last year (2009?). A cable, from the U.S. embassy in Kabul, notes that Massood was allowed to keep the money without revealing its "origin or destination."

It is said, the Afghan government imposed a travel ban on Ahmad Zia Masoud and Abdul Rashid Dostum, key members of National Front Party. (20120715)
Former vice-president Ahmad Zia Massoud  formally announced support to presidential contender Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai in the second round of the ballot.(20140522)


As a close aide to Ghani, Massoud is notable for his harsh criticism of Abdullah and his supporters. Though he does not have enough backing in the Tajik community to challenge Abdullah and Atta, the mere fact that he is brother to the slain Afghan hero Ahmad Shah Massoud and the son-in-law of former president Burhanuddin Rabbani, gives him an edge that could come in handy while serving as Ghani's special representative on reform and good governance.(20140930)

At a special ceremony at the Presidential Palace, President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai inaugurated Ahmad Zia Massoud as the Special Representative of the National Unity Government (NUG) in reform and governance affairs, on Thursday 02, 2014. Ahmad Zia Massoud on Monday 20141027 formally assumed office.

Ahmad Zia Masoud the special envoy for President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani for reform and good governance survived a rocket attack in northeastern Badakhshan province. The rocket attack did not bear casualties in Baharak District.(20150427)

The Office of the President, ARG Palace, on Monday, Apr 17, 2017 night confirmed the dismissal of Ahmad Zia Massoud, the senior presidential adviser for good governance and reforms for weak performance.

Ahmad Zia Massoud on Friday Apr 28, 2017 apologized to the people for having supported President Ashraf Ghani during presidential elections and said he now regrets his decision. Speaking at the 25th anniversary of 8th of Saur, Mujahideen Victory Day against Mohammad Najibullah’s government, Massoud called Ghani a dictator and said he is control-oriented.(20170430)

He is married and has one son and three daughters.

He speaks Dari, Pashto, English and some Russian and French

Last Modified 2017-04-30
Established 2009-07-27