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Embassy Staff

Mr. M. Ashraf Haidari
Political Counselor

Mr. M. Ashraf Haidari is the Political Counselor, Acting Defense Attaché, and Spokesman of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, D.C. He directly assists the Ambassador in his administrative and diplomatic responsibilities, helping maintain bilateral relations with the United States Administration and Congress.

As the Head of the Political Affairs Department, Mr. Haidari has effectively managed coalition affairs; overseen non-resident diplomatic relations with Brazil and Colombia; and coordinated Afghanistan’s diplomatic, defense, development, and law enforcement relations with the relevant institutions of the U.S. Government and the Washington-based missions of the Coalition and non-resident countries.

In his role as the Acting Defense Attaché, Mr. Haidari maintains close working relationship with the Pentagon and Coalition counterparts, and frequently visits U.S. military bases to discuss Afghanistan and regional issues with the Commanding Generals before their contingents’ deployment to Afghanistan.

Mr. Haidari shares a personal story that resonates with millions of other ordinary Afghans touched by decades of conflict. He experienced these hardships firsthand both under the Soviet occupation in 1980s and the Taliban rule in 1990s. Mr. Haidari self-taught English and began working from a very young age to support his family, who were internally displaced several times before fleeing Afghanistan into refuge abroad in the late 1990s. Mr. Haidari’s dream of helping secure and rebuild Afghanistan came true in 2001, since when he has been doing just that—both through his official role and independent efforts.

As a strong voice for Afghanistan, Mr. Haidari has tirelessly engaged in public diplomacy in order to maintain focus on and support for the stabilization and reconstruction of the country. He is a frequent lecturer on Afghanistan and regional security issues, having spoken at Georgetown University, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, McGill University, the U.S. National Defense University, the U.S. National War College, the U.S. National Defense Intelligence College, the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, Syracuse University, Emory University, Brigham Young University, University of Maryland, American University, and others. He has also been invited to speak in major public and foreign policy forums in the U.S. and Europe including the Wilton Park, the Rand Corporation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, Center for Strategic and International Studies, the U.S. Foreign Service Institute, the U.S. Congressional Progressive Caucus, the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and the American Foreign Service Association.  

Mr. Haidari is an accomplished writer and astute analyst of the Afghan and regional politics. His writings have appeared in such major international publications as The Washington Post, The New York Times & International Herald Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Times, The Washington Diplomat, The Baltimore Sun, The Korea Times, Asia Times, Middle East Times, EurasiaNet, Diplomatic Traffic, Diplomatic Courier, International Affairs Forum, The Culture & Conflict Review, The Central Asia-Caucasus Institute Analyst, and The Public Diplomacy Blog. He also frequents major TV shows to discuss Afghan and regional affairs, and has interviewed with CNN, BBC World News, BBC Newsnight, BBC World Service, VOA News & Views, VOA Roundtable with You, VOA Ashna TV, CSPAN, Alhurra (Arab TV Networks), Bridges TV, National Public Radio, War News Radio, KCPW, KPCC 89.3., and many others.   

Mr. Haidari previously served the Embassy of Afghanistan as the First Secretary for Political, Security & Development Affairs, as well as Director of Government and Media Relations. He formerly worked as Federal Relations Specialist, Research Analyst, and Assistant Director of Development at Georgetown University. Mr. Haidari has extensive work experience with the United Nations, having held positions of complex responsibility with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN World Food Program (UNWFP) in Afghanistan, Europe, and Central Asia.

Mr. Haidari is educated in the United States, Switzerland, and Afghanistan. He holds a Master of Arts in Security Studies (Concentration: International Security & Development) from the Georgetown University Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service; and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and International Relations from Wabash College. During 2002-2003, Mr. Haidari was a Fellow in Foreign Service at the Georgetown University Institute for the Study of Diplomacy, and holds advanced certificates in International Affairs and Refugee & Humanitarian Emergencies from the University. In 2000, Mr. Haidari pursued coursework in European Studies & International Law at the Kent State University Geneva Study-Abroad Program in Switzerland.


Mr. Haidari is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including The Pedro Arrupe, S.J., International Peace Scholarship, Georgetown University, Washington DC, 2003; The Fellowship in Foreign Service Award; Georgetown University, Washington DC, 2002; The International Merit Scholarship, Wabash College, Indiana, 1997; and The F. Michael Cassel Award; Wabash College Political Science Department, Indiana, 1999. The life and achievements of Mr. Haidari have been publically recognized and featured in the following publications: The Journal Review (December 2008), Indiana Daily Student (August 2007), The Washington Diplomat (January 2007), The Wabash Magazine (Fall 2005), The Georgetown University Office of Alumni & University Relations Newsletter (August 2002), The Wabash Magazine (Summer 2001), and The Bachelor (October 1998).


Mr. Haidari is married and has a son. He speaks English, French, and Russian.

Email: [email protected]
Phone (direct): 202 449 4193

Extension: 8011



07.21.2009 - International Affairs Forum – Winning the Elusive Peace in Afghanistan

07.21.2009 - Middle East Times – Winning the Elusive Peace in Afghanistan

07.16.2009 - EurasiaNet – Afghanistan: Let's Not Forget about the IDPs

07.13.2009 - Washington Times – The Challenges We Face

07.10.2009 - Asia Chronicle - The Forgotten Plight of IDPs in Afghanistan and the World

05.27.2009 - Baltimore Sun - The Way Forward for Afghan Women

05.14.2009 - Intl. Affairs Forum - Education is the Key to Empowering Afghan Women

04.05.2009 - Washington Times - Correcting Perceptions

03.31.2009 - Middle East Times - Righting the Wrong Perceptions on Afghanistan

03.27.2009 - Intl. Affairs Forum - Securing Afghanistan: The War of Perceptions

03.27.2009 - EurasiaNet - Afghanistan: How to Win the War on Drugs

12.12.2008 - Diplomatic Courier - State-Building vs. Nation-Neglecting in Afghanistan

11.22.2008 - Asia Times - Empty Promises in Afghanistan

10.31.2008 - Public Diplomacy Blog - Challenges and Opportunities for Engagement in Afg.

10.07.2008 - Asia Times - A Way Through the Afghan Labyrinth

09.11.2008 - Middle East Times - Seven Years On, Terrorism Still Threatens Afghanistan

09.11.2008 - EurasiaNet - Afghanistan: Remembering Afghan Refugees

07.21.2008 - New York Times - Securing Afghanistan

07.03.2008 - Middle East Times - Peace Deals That Destabilize Afghanistan

07.01.2008 - The Washington Times - Securing Afghanistan

06.12.2008 - EurasiaNet: Aid Effectiveness Key to Addressing Rebuilding Challenges

06.11.2008 - Middle East Times: Securing Afghanistan's Future in Paris

06.11.2008 - Korea Times: For Afghanistan's Secure Future

06.10.2008 - International Affairs Forum: Paris Conference: An Opportunity to Address Afghanistan’s Key Rebuilding Challenges

04.09.2008 - Pajhwok: NATO's Most Critical Mission

04.09.2008 - The Washington Times: Letter to the Editor: Fixing Afghanistan

04.09.2008 - The Washington Post: Letter to the Editor: Help that Afghans Need Now

04.03.2008 – Diplomatic Traffic: Afghanistan: NATO’s Most Critical Mission

04.01.2008 – EurasiaNet: Afghanistan: More NATO Troops and Trainers Needed

03.31.2008 – NATO needs Marshall Plan to Secure Afghanistan

03.24.2008 - Can Afghanistan lay a new Silk Road?

03.21.2008 - The Baltimore Sun: Afghan mission: NATO's raison d'etre

03.07.2008 – The Washington Times: Equal Human Rights

03.02.2008 – The Culture and Conflict Review: Women’s Gains at Risk in Afghanistan

01.24.2008 - EurasiaNet: Afghanistan: Beyond Security, the Economy is Booming

01.24.2008 - Diplomatic Traffic: Afghanistan: The Silk Road to Opportunities

11.11.2007 - New York Times: Toward Afghan Success

11.06.2007 - International Herald Tribune: Success in Afghanistan

10.27.2007 - CACI Analyst: Women: The Pillars of Afghanistan

08.27.2007 - Baltimore Sun: Help Wean Afghans from Poppy Crop

05.23.2007 - EurasiaNet: Canada Needs to Keep its Troops in Afghanistan

02.06.2007 - San Francisco Chronicle: Nation Building or Nation Neglecting

12.13.2006 - Omaid Weekly: Rebuilding Afghanistan, The Diaspora's Debt of Service

08.07.2006 - Diplomatic Traffic: Time to Re-Commit to Afghanistan's Secure Future

07.21.2006 - Washington Times: Afghan Democracy

07.06.2006 - Washington Diplomat: Continued International Support Key to Afghanistan's Future

10.28.2005 - EurasiaNet: Afghanistan's Parliamentary Election Results Confirm Stunning Gains for Women

10.25.2005 - Diplomatic Traffic: Afghan Women Achieve Stunning Result in National Elections

03.02.2005 - Diplomatic Traffic: Fighting the Narcotics Industry with Human Security

10.01.2004 - The Ashian Magazine: Rebuilding Afghanistan, The Diaspora Role

07.01.2004 - Afghan Magazine: No Security, No Trans-Afghan Pipelines

07.24.2002 – Georgetown University: Strategy Paper for Reconstruction, Commerce, and Trade in Afghanistan: Looking Forward to the Future



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