Afghanistan: Assessing Progress and Prospects for Regional Connectivity

March 1, 2018 - 3:30 pm

Atlantic Council 1030 15th St. NW, 12th Floor Washington, DC 20005
Washington, DC

A Conversation with:

 Dr. Mohammad H. Qayoumi  

Chief Advisor on Infrastructure to H.E. President Ashraf Ghani
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Mr. Manish Tewari

Distinguished Senior Fellow, South Asia Center

Atlantic Council 

Moderated by:

 Dr. Bharath Gopalaswamy

Director, South Asia Center

Atlantic Council 

Please join the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center for a discussion with Dr. Mohammad H. Qayoumi where he will discuss how Afghanistan can play a pivotal role in integrating the economies of Central Asia and South Asia.

Dr. Qayoumi will provide an overview of the progress achieved in the past three years in the areas of regional connectivity and discuss the tremendous opportunities that need to be explored in the future. Afghanistan can serve as the land bridge that can help connect Central Asia to South Asia and serve as the catalyst for bulk energy transfers between the two regions. Similarly, as a data transit country, Afghanistan can play a key role in shortening multiple Internet paths within the region.



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Dr. Mohammad H. Qayoumi is chief adviser for President Ghani in the areas of infrastructure, human capital, and technology. Prior to this, he served as the twenty-eighth president and a professor of electrical engineering at San José State University in California. He holds a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from the American University of Beirut and four graduate degrees from the University of Cincinnati: a master’s in nuclear engineering, a master’s in electrical and computer engineering, an MBA in finance, and a doctorate in electrical engineering. He has also published eight books and more than one hundred articles, as well as several chapters in various books. A senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, Dr. Qayoumi served as a Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award examiner and senior examiner from 2000 to 2003. He also was senior examiner for the Missouri Quality Program from 1997 to 2000. He served as the chair of cybersecurity for the US Department of Homeland Security Academic Advisory Council. As a senior fellow with the California Council on Science and Technology, Dr. Qayoumi was inducted to the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame in 2015.

Mr. Manish Tewari is a distinguished senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. He is a practicing lawyer in the Supreme Court of India and the managing partner of Minister Tewari and Associates, a law firm based in New Delhi. Minister Tewari was formerly a member of the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) and the union minister of information and broadcasting for the Government of India. He is the national spokesperson of the Indian National Congress. Previously, he was a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committees of External Affairs, Law and Justice, and Defence. He also served on the Parliamentary Consultative Committees of the Ministries of Defence and Law and Justice. He is also secretary of the Foreign Affairs Department of the Indian National Congress (INC).

Dr. Bharath Gopalaswamy is the director of the South Asia Center. Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, Gopalaswamy managed the Program in Arms Control, Disarmament, and International Security at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he oversaw developing projects on South Asian security issues. He has held research appointments with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute and with Cornell University's Judith Reppy Institute of Peace and Conflict studies. Dr. Gopalaswamy holds a PhD in mechanical engineering with a specialization in numerical acoustics from Trinity College, Dublin. In addition to his studies abroad, he has previously worked at the Indian Space Research Organization's High Altitude Test Facilities and the EADS Astrium GmbH division in Germany.