William Byrd

Senior Expert - Afghanistan

William Byrd is a development economist whose academic background includes a doctorate in economics from Harvard University and a master's degree in East Asian Regional Studies from the same institution. He joined USIP in April 2012 as a senior expert, working on Afghanistan.

He had long experience at the World Bank, where most of his work was country-focused, including China, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He lived for significant lengths of time in all of these countries and speaks Dari and Chinese, with some knowledge of other languages. During 2002-2006, he was stationed in Kabul, Afghanistan, where he served as the World Bank’s country manager for Afghanistan and then as economic adviser. His publications include six books on China, other books, and numerous articles, among them several papers on Afghanistan, as well as a number of World Bank reports. Examples include reports on Afghanistan’s economic development, public finance management, economic cooperation in the wider Central Asia region, vulnerabilities to corruption assessments, Afghanistan’s drug industry, and economic incentives and development initiatives to reduce opium production, as well as papers on these topics, security sector reform from a financial and development perspective, and on responding to Afghanistan’s development challenge.


William Byrd
February 4, 2014
USIP’s Bill Byrd, Casey Johnson and Sanaullah Tasal explore the economic implications of the delay in signing the Bilateral Security Agreement between Afghanistan and the U.S.
William Byrd
September 11, 2013
A sharp decline of financial resources during Afghanistan's transition is expected to have a profound and destabilizing impact. USIP's William Byrd explores the fallout on the country's political economy.
William Byrd
May 22, 2013
USIP’s Bill Byrd examines the challenges to the Tokyo Mutual Accountability Framework for Afghanistan, and what could be done to make its implementation more effective.
William Byrd
May 15, 2013
When it is compared with other countries that have undergone transition, Afghanistan is revealed to be stronger than many on economic performance but weaker than the norm for governance and rule of law. If its strengths are supported and weak areas are targeted for improvement, the country will improve its prospects for a successful transition, say the authors of this new report.

Articles & Analysis by this Expert

June 14, 2013
William Byrd

Top Afghan ministers and the governors of Kandahar, Helmand and Farah provinces appealed for international support of projects to curb the country’s opium poppy trade over the long haul, amid the risk that cultivation will rise in the short term as most U.S.-led military forces withdraw and foreign aid declines.