Omar Samad

Former Afghanistan Senior Expert, Center for Conflict Management

Note: This is an archived profile of a former U.S. Institute of Peace expert. The information is current as of the dates of tenure.

He is the former Afghan ambassador to France (June 2009 to July 2011) and also served as Afghanistan's ambassador to Canada (October 2004 to June 2009). Prior to these postings, he was the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul (Dec. 2001 to Sept. 2004) and director general of the Information and Media Division, during which time he also served as an adviser, speech-writer and member of the Ministry's reform committee. During his diplomatic career (2001 to 2011), he represented Afghanistan or participated in numerous multilateral conferences and specialized forums on Afghanistan, including the Tripartite Security Commission.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s he was an advocate for freedom and democracy in Afghanistan. As founder of the Afghanistan Information Center, in 1996 he launched Azadi Afghan Radio and its website based in Virginia. Following the September 11th attacks, he worked as a commentator and analyst for CNN and other international media.

Samad earned a master's degree in international relations (GMAP) from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Tufts University, Massachusetts) in 2006. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in communications and international affairs at the American University in Washington D.C. in 1991.


Articles & Analysis from this Expert

January 10, 2013
With the unseasonably warm weather in Washington this week, you’d think the tulips were out, considering how officialdom is tiptoeing around the subject of Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s visit to confer with President Barack Obama on Jan. 11.


February 27, 2013
A survey of influential Afghan citizens finds most believe that continued international engagement and a transparent 2014 election process are critical to their country’s stability. Most want to end the two-decade war through a negotiated political process that includes reconciliation with the Taliban, though they are divided on how much to give in exchange for a peaceful settlement.