Amb. Zalmay Khalilzad, Ph.D.
Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad served as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Iraq and most recently the United Nations, before stepping down in January 2009. Prior to those positions, he served as Special Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan (2001-2003) and at the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President for Islamic Outreach and Southwest Asia Initiatives, and as Special Assistant for Southwest Asia, Near East, and North African Affairs. From 1985 to 1989, Ambassador Khalilzad served as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, advising on policy issues, the Iran-Iraq war and the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Between 1993 and 1999, Ambassador Khalilzad was Director of the Strategy, Doctrine and Force Structure program for RAND’s Project Air Force. At RAND, he founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Earlier in his career, he was an associate professor at the University of California at San Diego and an assistant professor of Political Science at Columbia University. He also served as an advisor to a major energy company on large-scale projects in the Middle East. He currently serves as President of Gryphon Partners, a global advisory firm that focuses on frontier markets, which he founded in 2009.
Ambassador Khalilzad earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, as well as a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He is the author of more than 200 books, articles, studies, and reports. His work has been translated in many languages including Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese and Turkish. Ambassador Khalilzad has significant experience in the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia, and across the globe. His experience and knowledge of the region is instrumental for global businesses that seek to successfully navigate these most promising and challenging international markets.