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State-Building and Human Rights in Afghanistan & Pakistan

Core Team
Our full-time Fellows bring more than one hundred years of experience working on the ground in Afghanistan. Some have been working on the ground in the region since 1978. They include a long-serving director of the AREU, Afghanistan's leading indigenous research organization, the former Afghanistan or Pakistan Directors of Mercy Corps, Oxfam, and Save the Children, and the Deputy Head of the European Union mission and the head of the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan's political section. Fellows have briefed many senior members of the U.S. administration including Ambassador Richard Holbrooke and Generals Petraeus and McChrystal and have testified at numerous Senate and Congressional hearings. Their op-eds, television appearances, and research papers have had significant contributions to policy debate. All play an active role in teaching and research at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.
Principles from Prior Years >
  Paul Fishstein Paul Fishstein Paul Fishstein (MS, Agricultural and Resource Economics; BA, English Literature) served as Director of the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU), a Kabul-based, policy research institution, from 2005 to 2008. Before joining AREU as Deputy Director in 2004, Paul worked in Kabul and at provincial levels on USAID-funded initiatives to strengthen the management of health care delivery, and from 1989-93 managed refugee assistance and “cross-border” reconstruction activities in Quetta and Islamabad, Pakistan. Paul first worked in Afghanistan during 1977-79 as a teacher trainer in Kabul and northern Afghanistan. Paul has also worked as a Researcher at the World Bank in Washington, focusing on agricultural policies and food security in India and Africa, and provided assistance on financial analysis, organizational development, and sustainability planning to health organizations in developing countries, including Bangladesh, Nepal, Romania, and Tanzania. Paul is currently involved in a research project looking at the relationship between aid and stabilization in Afghanistan. [[ Dynamic data was lost here ]]
  Nigel Pont Nigel Pont is a fellow with the State Building program. Nigel has recently completed two and a half years as Mercy Corps' Afghanistan Country Director, focusing primarily on rural agricultural development in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, natural resource management in the north east of the country and microfinance in Kabul and Jalalabad. He has extensive Afghanistan experience having managed a wide range of relief and development programs during the civil war, the Taliban era and post 9/11. Born in Iran and growing up in Pakistan he has in-depth knowledge of the region and speaks good Dari and Urdu. Between 1997 and 2008 Nigel played a leadership role for Mercy Corps in many of the major humanitarian crises of the past decade including Kosovo, Iraq, Pakistan and post Tsunami Aceh. [[ Dynamic data was lost here ]]
  Michael Semple works on reconciliation in Afghanistan and the Taliban Movement. He combines academic research with participation in the public debate and track two diplomacy. Michael is a leading expert on the Taliban, the Pashtun tribes and Afghan politics. He has worked in Afghanistan since 1989, most recently as Deputy to the EU Special Representative for Afghanistan, and has inter-acted with leading figures in the succession of Afghan regimes, and the different armed movements which have campaigned against them. He is recognized internationally as a key proponent of political approaches to dealing with the conflict in Afghanistan, including “talking to the Taliban”. His experience as development worker, political officer and conflict negotiator give him an unparalleled network into most elements of Afghan and Pakistani society. Michael's understanding of Afghan political history and current Afghan political strategies, combined with an international community insiders perspective and access to politicians on all sides of the debate give him a unique ability to advise on the development of a realistic political strategy for a more stable and prosperous Afghan future.

Michael Semple is a recipient of the Anna Lindh Research Fellowship
generously sponsored by
The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation

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  David Mansfield David Mansfield has been doing fieldwork in rural Afghanistan since June 1997. The evidence base he has produced has been at the forefront of policy development in drugs and development in Afghanistan and represents an important source of primary data for many policy analysts and academics. By examining the different factors that influence opium poppy cultivation, David's work has also documented the diversity in socioeconomic, political and environmental conditions across rural Afghanistan.

David has worked for a variety of different organizations in Afghanistan including the Afghan Research and Evaluation Unit, the Aga Khan Development Network and the United Kingdom's Afghan Drugs Inter Departmental Unit and Department for International Development. He has also supported the World Bank, Asia Development Bank and the European Commission in integrating the drugs issue into their rural development programmers in Afghanistan, including their support to National Priority Programmes.

Prior to his work in Afghanistan David worked in overseas drugs and development issues, working in each of the major drug producing regions of South and South East Asia, and Latin America. His published work has sought to contextualise drugs as a development issue, and in particular has focused on developing pro-poor approaches to development in drug producing areas. Copies of his reports can be found at
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  Gerard Russell Gerard Russell was a diplomat with the British Foreign Office for 14 years, heading one of its diplomatic missions and two of its largest political teams in Embassies overseas. He worked in Jerusalem, Baghdad and Saudi Arabia. Between 2001 and 2003 he designed and headed up the UK effort to reach out to opinion in the Arab and broader Islamic world, giving 200 interviews in Arabic to the Middle East satellite media. In 2005 he was adviser to the Iraqi Prime Minister. From 2007 to 2009 he worked in Afghanistan, latterly as a senior political adviser at the United Nations political mission there. He speaks Arabic and Dari.

Mr. Russell's particular focus at the Carr Center will be on the future of humanitarian intervention, and religious beliefs in the Middle East and South Asia. He is keeping a blog: www.gerardrussellcom.

A more detailed biography, and links to recent published articles, is available here. [[ Dynamic data was lost here ]]
Associate Fellows
  Gerald Knaus Gerald Knaus is founding chairman of the European Stability Initiative (ESI) since 1999.  ESI, with 24 staff based in 10 cities from London to Baku, is today the largest think tank focusing on the Balkans, Turkey and the South Caucasus.  Gerald studied in Oxford, Brussels and Bologna. He taught economics at the University of Chernivtsi (Ukraine) and worked for five years in Bulgaria and Bosnia for NGOs and international organizations, including the OHR in Sarajevo and as analyst for ICG. He was director of the Lessons Learned Unit of the EU Pillar of the UN Mission in Kosovo (from 2001 to 2004). Some of Gerald’s articles have triggered wide public debates, including "Travails of the European Raj" on Bosnia (2003) and "Member State Building and the Helsinki Moment" (2004). He co-authored more than 60 ESI reports as well as scripts for award-winning TV documentaries on South East Europe. He is a founding member of the European Council on Foreign Relations and a 2007/2008 Open Society Fellow. In 2004 he moved to Istanbul. He regularly writes for the Rumeli Observer. [[ Dynamic data was lost here ]]
Program Staff
  Rory Stewart Rory Stewart, the Ryan Family Professor of the Practice of Human Rights, is the Director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. Stewart is the founder and Chief Executive of the Turquoise Mountain Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the regeneration of the historic commercial center of Kabul, Afghanistan. Rory earned his BA and MA in Modern History and Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Balliol College, Oxford University, served as an officer in the British Army, and worked for the British Diplomatic Service in Indonesia, Montenegro and elsewhere, before taking two years to walk from Turkey to Bangladesh. He covered 6,000 miles on foot across Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Nepal - a journey which he describes in his critically acclaimed book entitled The Places in Between. In 2003 he started working for the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in Iraq as Deputy Governorate Coordinator (Amara/Maysan) and Senior Adviser and Deputy Governorate Coordinator (Nasiriyah/Dhi Qar). In recognition of his service in Iraq, he was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the British Government in 2004. He wrote Occupational Hazards: My Time Governing in Iraq, published in the United States under the title The Prince of the Marshes, describing his experiences with the CPA. Rory spent the 2004-05 academic year at HKS as a Fellow at the Carr Center. He has also written for the New York Times Magazine and the London Review of Books, among other publications.

KSG Profile  |  Rory Stewart's Personal Web site

Please note: Rory Stewart is on public service leave from Harvard as of March 31, 2010. Rory has been elected as a Member of Parliament for Penrith and the Border in the UK.

  Michael McCarrick Mike McCarrick is a Research Associate for the State Building and Human Rights program. Prior to joining the State Building Program, Mike worked for the Carr Center's National Security and Human Rights Program. He holds a B.A. in Political Science with a focus on Political Theory, from Stonehill College. His professional and research interests include terrorism, ethno-sectarian conflict, human rights, and energy security. [[ Dynamic data was lost here ]]
Principles from Prior Years >

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