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For Ateeq Nosher, a bloody conflict in the 1980s meant growing up in a refugee camp far from home.
But next month he is headed back to his country of birth, Afghanistan, equipped with a master’s degree from Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and a desire to make a difference in his homeland, which is again mired in a violent internal struggle.
While at Harvard, Nosher took part in an integrated curriculum aimed at solving some of the world’s most pressing problems. Building on his HKS experience, he will work with Afghanistan’s central bank in Kabul as director general of its monetary policy department, where he will help to control the nation’s inflation and exchange rates.
“If I take asylum and stay in the United States, I will be nothing in my country in five years,” said Nosher. “I have to go and compete.” He is optimistic about Afghanistan’s future, and said its increasingly competitive environment was spurred by the return of many students and professionals who fled in 2001, when the latest round of fighting began.
Nosher is one of the more than 650 graduates from the Kennedy School’s Master in Public Administration in International Development program (MPA/ID), which includes leaders in the government, nonprofit, and for-profit sectors who are making a major impact on international development.