Omar Samad was Senior Advisor for Policy and Strategy to the Chief Executive of Afghanistan (December 2014-January 2016) and Afghan Ambassador to France (2009-11) and to Canada (2004-09). He is currently CEO of Silkroad Consulting LLC, based in Virginia.
Ambassador Samad was Senior Afghan Expert at the United States Institute of Peace (2012-2013), during which he conducted and published a survey of views and perceptions of Afghan political elites on the 2014 transition period in Afghanistan. Subsequently, he was Senior Central Asia Fellow at New America Foundation (2013-14).
Since 1979, during the period of communist rule and the later period of Taliban rule in Kabul, he was an active advocate for freedom and democracy in Afghanistan. In 1996 he managed the Afghanistan Information Center, and was Executive Producer of Azadi Afghan Radio.
Omar Samad is a regular contributor and commentator to international and Afghan media, and is a frequent speaker and writer on Afghan and regional issues.
He earned a Master’s degree in International Relations from the Fletcher School (2006), and has a B.A. in Communications from the American University in Washington, DC (1991). He currently teaches an Honors Seminar on “Radicalism Within Islam, Drivers and Policy Options” at the University of Maryland.
He is a member of The Spectrum Group – a Consulting firm- based in Alexandria, Virginia. He is also a member of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, and on the Board of the Afghan-American Research and Advocacy Center (AARAC), based in Virginia.