Colin Cookman is a program officer with the U.S. Institute of Peace's Center for South and Central Asia, working to help support, manage and coordinate research publications across the program's region of focus. He joined the staff in June 2014, after previously working on a part-time basis to support USIP research on Pakistan beginning in February 2013.

Colin has previously worked as a contributing writer for the Economist Intelligence Unit's political risk and macroeconomic analyses of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and was a member of Democracy International's election observation mission during the 2010 Afghan parliamentary elections. From 2008 through 2013, Colin worked as an analyst with the Center for American Progress' national security and international policy team, focusing on the internal political and conflict dynamics of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and American policy towards the region.

Colin received his graduate degree from John Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies in 2014, with a concentration in South Asia studies and International Economics, and his undergraduate degree in International Relations from Boston University in 2005.

Publications By Colin

Another Afghan Election Crisis and the Challenge of Power-Sharing

Another Afghan Election Crisis and the Challenge of Power-Sharing

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

By: Colin Cookman

Approximately five and a half months after Afghanistan held nationwide presidential elections in September 2019, incumbent President Ashraf Ghani and runner-up Abdullah Abdullah have held parallel inauguration ceremonies this week, with each side claiming the authority to form the next government. The current political crisis complicates efforts to open up broader power-sharing talks with the Taliban called for under an agreement signed in Doha at the end of February, as President Ghani seeks to consolidate his authority, and Abdullah and his supporters seek to claim a seat at the negotiating table.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance; Peace Processes

What to Watch for in Afghanistan’s Presidential Election

What to Watch for in Afghanistan’s Presidential Election

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

By: Scott Worden; Colin Cookman

After several delays, Afghans will finally head to the polls on Saturday to elect their next president. The election comes amid an indefinite stall in the year-long U.S.-Taliban negotiations following the cancellation of a high-level summit earlier in the month. There has been a debate over the sequencing of elections and the peace process for months, but the vote will move ahead this weekend. As with all post-2001 Afghan elections, security risks and the potential for fraud and abuse loom over these polls. USIP’s Scott Worden and Colin Cookman look at how insecurity will impact the legitimacy of the vote and what measures have been taken to combat electoral mismanagement and fraud.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Electoral Violence; Democracy & Governance

Kashmir Crisis Raises Fear of Intensified India-Pakistan Conflict

Kashmir Crisis Raises Fear of Intensified India-Pakistan Conflict

Thursday, August 15, 2019

By: Vikram J. Singh; Colin Cookman; Richard Olson

Last week, India made a controversial decision to revoke the special status of the disputed region of Kashmir and sent thousands of troops to quell any potential unrest. The Muslim-majority territory has been a major source of tension between India and Pakistan since it was partitioned between...

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

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