International Advisory Council / Journalist and Author
Ahmed Rashid is one of the world’s foremost experts on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia and the Taliban. He is the author of many influential books on the region, including the bestselling Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia. Published prior to the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, Taliban became a critical guide to understanding the Taliban in their wake and was translated into more than 40 languages. He has also written two books on Central Asia: The Resurgence of Central Asia and Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam in Central Asia. Following Taliban, he completed a trilogy of books on Afghanistan, Pakistan and the US involvement in the region with Descent Into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia and most recently, Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of Pakistan, Afghanistan and the West.
He is a champion of local media development and donated a third of the profits from his book earnings to create the Open Media Fund for Afghanistan. He also enlisted the Open Society Institute, AOL Time Warner Foundation, and Internews Network to provide financial support for local Afghan journalists.
Rashid has been covering the wars in Afghanistan and conflicts in Central Asia and Pakistan since 1979. He currently writes regularly for the Financial Times, the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, Britain’s Spectator magazine, Spain’s El Mundo, BBC Online and several Pakistani publications. Previously, he was the Afghanistan and Central Asia correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review (1982-2004), a correspondent for The Independent (1986-1992) and The Daily Telegraph (1992-2008). Foreign Policy magazine chose him as one of the world’s most important 100 Global Thinkers in 2009 and 2010.
Rashid is a member of the Advisory Board of Eurasia Net of the Soros Foundation, a scholar of the Davos World Economic Forum and a member of the Advisory Committee of the Asia division for Human Rights Watch. In 2004, he was appointed to the Board of Advisers of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva, and in December 2009, he was appointed a member of the board of New York’s Committee to Protect Journalists. A former Visiting Scholar at the Columbia University School of Journalism. Rashid has received several international awards for his work, including the Nisar Osmani Courage in Journalism Award and Spain’s prestigious Casa Asia prize.