Afghan Biographies

Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS)

Name Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS)
Ethnic backgr.
Date of birth
Function/Grade Background
History and Biodata

Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS)

Afghan Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS)


Director General:

Dr Davood Moradian is the founder and the first director-general of the institute. He has worked with the Afghan government since 2006 in different capacities, including chief of programs at President Karzai’s office and chief policy advisor to Afghanistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2006-11). He also taught international relations at the University of St Andrews and the American University of Afghanistan. He earned a doctorate degree from University of St Andrews (Scotland). His doctorate thesis was on the conception of punishment in ancient Greece, Islam and International Justice.

Board of Advisers:

Based on the Institute’s bylaw and the board’s terms of reference, the board of advisors is tasked to provide strategic guideline to the institute and generate political and financial support. Providing expertly advice on the focused areas and the smooth running of the institute are the board’s additional responsibilities.  It will have diverse and multinational members, including representatives from the Afghan government, academic community, private sector /civil society as well as international members from outside Afghanistan.  Dr Spanta, Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser will chair the advisory board. Other members of the Board are:  Ambassador Kai Eaide, former UN Secretary General’s envoy to Afghanistan; Dr Sima Samar, Chairwoman, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission; Prof Radha Kumar, Director General, Delhi Policy Group; Dr Barnett Rubin, Professor of Political Science at New York University,  Ambassador Hikmet Cetin, former NATO's senior representative to Afghanistan and Dr Ashley J. Tellis . Three further members of the board will be identified in due course.  

Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta (Chairman of the Advisary Board)

Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta (born December 15, 1954 in Herat) is Afghanistan’s National Security Adviser and former Foreign Minister and the Senior Advisor on International Affairs to President Hamid Karzai. Dr. Spanta was an ex-patriate for many years as he fled during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to Turkey. Some years later he moved to Germany claiming to be a refugee.  In Germany he became a scholar and assistant professor of political science at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, at which time he also served as spokesperson for the Alliance for Democracy in Afghanistan, and was active in the local section of the German Green Party. During his visits to Afghanistan, upon the fall of the Taliban, he taught briefly at the Kabul University while still being resident in Germany.

Dr. Barnett R. Rubin

Dr. Rubin is one of the world’s foremost experts on Afghanistan and the surrounding region, as well as on conflict prevention and peace building. Currently director of studies and senior fellow at New York University, Dr. Rubin served as special adviser to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan during the negotiations that produced the Bonn Agreement and contributed to developing the Afghanistan National Development Strategy. He is currently an investor in Gulestan, a nascent firm exporting rose and other essences from Afghanistan. During 1994-2000, Dr. Rubin was director of the Center for Preventive Action, and director of peace and conflict studies, at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He was associate professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Central Asia at Columbia University from 1990 to 1996. Previously, he was a Jennings Randolph peace fellow at the United States Institute of Peace and assistant professor of political science at Yale University. Dr. Rubin is deputy chair of the Conflict Prevention and Peace Forum, a member of the steering committee of Human Rights Watch/ Europe and Central Asia, the executive board of Human Rights Watch/Asia, the board of the Open Society Institute’s Central Eurasia Project, the conseil scientifique of the Fondation Médecins Sans Frontières, and the board of the International League for Human Rights. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on conflict prevention, state formation, and human rights. He received a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from Yale University.

Dr. Sima Samar

Dr Sima Samar was born in Jaghori, Ghazni, Afghanistanon 3rd February 1957. She received a medical degree in 1982 from the Kabul University, a career chosen based on her desire to make a positive difference in her country. Yet her work to effect positive change in Afghanistan was performed for many years from Pakistan, where she fled after her husband was arrested during the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. He was one of more than 500 educated people rounded up one night in 1979, never to be heard from again.     During her 17 years in Pakistan she became a leader for educating Afghan women and girls. Sima founded The Shuhada Organization, which now operates 55 schools for girls and boys in Afghanistan and 3 schools for Afghan refugees in Quetta, Pakistan. Dr. Samar is currently the Chairwoman of the Independent Afghanistan Human Rights Commission. In this position, she oversees the conduct of human rights education programs across Afghanistan, the implementation of a nationwide women’s rights education program, and monitoring and investigation of human rights abuses across the country.   From December 22, 2001 until June 22, 2002, Dr. Sima Samar served as the Deputy Chair and Minister of Women’s Affairs for the Interim Administration of Afghanistan. She has been recognized for her leadership and courage by dozens of human and women’s rights organizations globally, and continues her work in Afghanistan. She has also served as the United Nations special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan from August 2005 till June 2009.Numerous international human rights and women’s rights organizations have recognized Dr. Samar for her leadership.   In August 10th 2005, , she was appointed as the United Nation’s Special Reporter on Situation of Human Rights for Sudan by the commission of human rights of the United Nations.

Dr. Radha Kumar


Professor Radha Kumar, Director General of the Delhi Policy Group, is a specialist in ethnic conflicts, peacemaking and peace-building. Formerly Senior Fellow in Peace and Conflict Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York (1999-2003), Dr. Kumar has also been Executive Director of the Helsinki Citizen's Assembly in Prague (1992-4) and an Associate Fellow at the Institute for War and Peace Studies at Columbia University (1996-8). She is currently on the Board of the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and the Foundation for Communal Harmony (India, Ministry of Home Affairs), a member of the Council on Security and Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP India), and an Associate Fellow of the Asia Society in New York. She has just been named one of the three Kashmir Interlocutors by the Government of India. Dr. Kumar holds a PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi and an MA and BA from Cambridge University, UK.

Ambassador Hikmet Cetin

Ambassador Hikmet Çetin is a Turkish politician, former Foreign Minister and leader of the Republican People's Party (CHP) for a short period in 1995. He was elected as the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly in October 1997. Between 1991 and 1994 he served as Minister of Foreign Affairs in the coalition Cabinet of Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel.  He is a member of the Executive Board for the European Leadership Network for Multilateral Nuclear Disarmament and Non-proliferation (ELN).

Ambassador Kai Eide

Ambassador Kai Eide (Born 28 February 1949 in Sarpsborg) is a Norwegian diplomat and writer. He was appointed the United Nations Special Representative to Afghanistan and Head of theUnited Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on 7 March 2008, a position he held until March 2010 when Staffan de Mistura took over. Ambassador Eide has previously served as the Special Envoy of theUnited Nations Secretary-General in Kosovo in 2005. His report to the Secretary General of the United Nations on the political situation in former Serbian province ofKosovo resulted in the launching of the negotiations that ultimately brought about the independence of Kosovo. Eide has also Special Representative of the Secretary-General inBosnia and Herzegovina in 1997–1998.     He has been a member of the Norwegian Foreign Service since 1975. He was the Norwegian ambassador toNorth Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) from 2002 to 2006 and to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) from 1998 to 2002. He has also been posted as Special Adviser on the Balkans at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Norway's ambassador at the International Conference for the formerYugoslavia. While being a member of theLabor Party today, he has been active in national politics; for the Conservative Party. In the Syse government, between 1989 and 1990, he was appointed State Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister. He later served as a deputy representative to theNorwegian Parliament from Akershus during the term 1993–1997.

Dr Ashley J. Tellis

Dr Ashley J. Tellis is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing in international security, defense, and Asian strategic issues. While on assignment to the U.S. Department of State as senior adviser to the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs, he was intimately involved in negotiating the civil nuclear agreement with India. Previously he was commissioned into the Foreign Service and served as senior adviser to the ambassador at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. He also served on the National Security Council staff as special assistant to the president and senior director for Strategic Planning and Southwest Asia.  Prior to his government service, Tellis was senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation and professor of Policy Analysis at the RAND Graduate School.   He is the author of India’s Emerging Nuclear Posture (2001) and co-author of Interpreting China’s Grand Strategy: Past, Present, and Future (2000). He is the research director of the Strategic Asia program at NBR and co-editor of the nine most recent annual volumes, including this year’sStrategic Asia 2012–13: China’s Military Challenge. In addition to numerous Carnegie and RAND reports, his academic publications have appeared in many edited volumes and journals. He is frequently called to testify before Congress.  Tellis is a member of several professional organizations related to defense and international studies including the Council on Foreign Relations, the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the United States Naval Institute, and the Navy League of the United States.

Professor Wang Jisi
Professor Wang Jisi is dean of the School of International Studies and Director of the Center for International and Strategic Studies at Peking University. He has been a member of Foreign Policy Advisory Committee of the Foreign Ministry of China since October 2008, and  president of the Chinese Association for American Studies since 2001. Prof. Jisi advises number of U.S. foreign policy think tanks and is on the editorial boards of The American Interest, Global Asia, and many Chinese scholarly journals.

Ahmad Nader Nadery
Nadery is currently the Commissioner for Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission. He represented Afghan Civil Society at UN peace talks for Afghanistan in Bonn Conference 2001. He also served as spokesperson for the national grand assembly (Loya Jirga) in 2002. Mr. Nadery is also a founding member of the Afghan Civil Society Forum and a board member of the Foundation for Civil Society and Culture. Mr. Nadery received his BA in Law and Political Science from Kabul University, and his MA in International Relations from George Washington



Last Modified 2016-08-23
Established 2013-03-27