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.

Publications

William Byrd
June 5, 2014
The May 27 White House announcement on troop withdrawals from Afghanistan raises serious questions about the staying power of international security funding to support the size of the future Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), as agreed two years ago in Chicago. Concerns also exist about Afghanistan fulfilling its own commitment to fund its security forces. With the ANSF largely a U.S. creation, it would be irresponsible now to turn around and undermine it.
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.

Articles & Analysis by this Expert

June 14, 2013
By:
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.

In the News

May 13, 2013

William Byrd, an Afghanistan Senior Expert at the US Institute of Peace, explained to The International that “high addiction rates in Afghanistan for opiates are a relatively recent phenomenon,” and that this widespread addiction is “a product of the ...