Former Afghan Ambassador to the United States Becomes Inaugural Fisher Family Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School

Contact: Doug Gavel
Phone: (617) 495-1115
Date: November 03, 2010

Cambridge, MA – Said Tayeb Jawad, former Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States, has joined the Future of Diplomacy Project at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) as the inaugural Fisher Family Fellow. He will engage in a number of public speaking events on the future of Afghanistan during his month-long residence, sharing his knowledge and real world experience with students and faculty. In addition, he will participate in the Project’s programming, which examines innovation in negotiation and diplomacy with Harvard students and faculty.

His work at the Kennedy School is made possible through The Richard and Nancy Fisher Family Fellows Program, created by Nancy and Richard W. Fisher, AB ’71, long-time supporters of Harvard University’s international engagement and teaching.

Jawad served concurrently as Afghan Ambassador to the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia and Mexico from 2003-10. He returned to Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 to assist in the state-building process, where he played a versatile and crucial role in government, serving as President Hamid Karzai’s Press Secretary, Chief of Staff and director of the Office of International Relations. In these positions, Jawad formulated and managed strategies, implemented policies, and worked closely with the international community to build and restore state institutions (including the Afghan National Army). He was also instrumental in prioritizing national reforms in Afghanistan, notably in the Ministry of Defense. In addition, he served as the president’s principal liaison with the constitutional commission throughout the drafting of the Afghan Constitution and was instrumental in drafting Afghanistan’s foreign investment laws.

Jawad is the chairman of the Foundation for Afghanistan and Chief Executive Officer of Capitalize, LLC.

Tri-lingual in English, German and French, Jawad was educated at the Afghan French Lycée Esteqial and School of Law and Political Sciences at Kabul University and later at Westfälische Wilhelms University in Münster, Germany. He earned his MBA from the Golden Gate University in San Francisco and subsequently worked for a number of prominent law firms in the United States.

“We are extremely pleased to welcome Ambassador Jawad to the Harvard Kennedy School as our first Fisher Family Fellow. He brings with him not only a wealth of experience on Afghanistan and the reconciliation process but also an international vantage point on the evolving nature of conflict diplomacy and negotiation strategy in democratization efforts,” said R. Nicholas Burns, director of the Future of Diplomacy Project.

Meghan O’Sullivan, the Evron and Jeane Kirkpatrick professor of international affairs, who currently teaches a course on US decision-making on Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan said: “We are very fortunate to have Ambassador Jawad join us at the Kennedy School. We will learn a great deal from him during his stay – and not only about Afghanistan and possible strategic directions there. Ambassador Jawad’s unique perspective will also help us appreciate the complexities and challenges that even our closest partners find in working with the United States, even in the pursuit of common goals and interests.”

About the Future of Diplomacy Project:

The Future of Diplomacy Projectis dedicated to promoting the study and understanding of diplomacy, negotiation and statecraft in international politics today. The Project aims to build Harvard Kennedy School’s ability to teach in this area, to support research in modern diplomatic practice and to build public understanding of diplomacy’s indispensible role in an increasingly complex and globalized world. See more on the website:

About the Fisher Family Fellowships:

The Fisher Family Fellowships are made possible through the generous support of the Collins-Fisher Foundation. Nancy Collins Fisher is chairman of the Foundation and has served on numerous committees of Harvard College. Ambassador Richard Fisher, a former Deputy U.S. Trade Representative, is president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. The Fisher’s four children were educated at Harvard College.


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