Omar Samad is a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center. He is also the founder and president of Silkroad Consulting L.L.C. Prior to joining the Atlantic Council, Samad was a senior Afghan expert in-residence with the Center for Conflict Management at the US Institute of Peace from January 2012 to January 2013. He also served as Ambassador of Afghanistan to France from 2009 to 2011 and Ambassador to Canada from 2004 to 2009.
Samad was the former spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul and Director General, Information and Media Divisions from 2001 to 2004. He also served as an advisor and speech-writer to the foreign minister, and as a member of the ministry’s reform committee.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s he advocated for freedom and democracy in Afghanistan. As founder of the Afghanistan Information Center, in 1996 he launched Azadi Afghan Radio and its website based in Virginia. He has been a contributor to Afghan and international media since the 1980s and has published in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Afghanistan.
He is a founding member and advisor to the online platform Afghan Analytica, a member of the US-Afghan Women’s Council, on the advisory boards of The Kitson, the Fletcher School’s MENASA advisory group, the Afghan Higher Education Student e-Mentoring Program, and Initiative to Educate Afghan Women.
Samad holds an MA in International Affairs from Tufts University. He is fluent in English, French, and Dari-Farsi, and proficient in Pashto.