About Author



Omar Samad is a non-resident Senior Fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center (since 2018), and CEO of Silkroad Consulting since 2013. He is a co-founder of the US-based Salaam Center for Dialogue, and member of the intra-Afghan dialogue platform, Afghan Future Thought Forum (AFTF). 

Samad served as a UNDP-sponsored Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation in 2021. In 2016, he resigned as Ambassador-designate to Belgium and the European Union. He was Senior Advisor to Afghanistan’s Chief Executive (2014-2016). He served as Ambassador of Afghanistan to France from 2009-11, and Ambassador to Canada from 2004-09. He was Spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry in Kabul (2002-04).

Intermittently, Samad was Senior Afghan Expert in-residence at the US Institute of Peace, 2012-13, where he conducted a survey and authored a research paper of Afghan political elites, and as non-resident Senior Fellow at the New America Foundation, 2013-14.

He worked in the IT field between 1982 and 2001, in computer operations management positions. He was founder and Executive Producer of Azadi Afghan Radio (1996-2001), co-founder of the Afghan Youth Council in America (1983-1992) and co-founder and President of the Afghan Students Association (1980-1982).

He is a frequent speaker on Afghanistan, South and Central Asian affairs and has contributor to Afghan and international media since 1982. He wrote “The 2021 Collapse: Lessons Learned from a Century of Upheavals and Afghanistan’s Foreign Policy Vortex” chapter in the “The Great Power Competition – Vol. 4 edition”, published by Springer.

He earned a master’s degree in international relations from the Fletcher School (Tufts University) in 2006, and a B.A. degree in Communications from the American University in 1991.