ZALMAY KHALILZAD Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


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Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad is the highest-ranking native Afghan and Muslim in the Bush administration. He became George W. Bush’s special envoy to Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban. He has been a special envoy to Iraqi during the U.S.-led occupation of Iraq.


On September 24, 2003, George W. Bush also named Khalilzad the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and he took his post in Kabul on November 27. An ethnic Pashtun, he was born in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif and first went to the United States as a high school exchange student. Khalilzad received his doctorate at the University of Chicago, where he studied closely with strategic thinker Albert Wohlstetter.


Khalilzad served under former U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush as special assistant to the president for Southwest Asia, the Near East and North Africa. From 1985 to 1989, Khalilzad served as a senior United States Department of State official advising on the Soviet war in Afghanistan and the Iran-Iraq war, and from 1991 to 1992, he was a senior Defense Department official for policy planning. He served as a counsellor to Donald Rumsfeld. Khalilzad initially viewed the Taliban as a potential force for stability and as counter balance to Iran, but his views changed over time, especially after the events of September 11.


Khalilzad was an advisor for the Unocal Corporation. In the mid 1990s, while working for the Cambridge Energy Research Associates , Khalilzad conducted risk analyses for Unocal for a proposed 1,400 km (890 mile), $2-billion, 622 m3;/s (22,000 ft3/s) natural gas pipeline project which would have extended from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan.


He has served in both the State and Defense Departments and is a member of the United States National Security Council. Khalilzad has been a member of the conservative think-tank Project for the New American Century.