WASHINGTON, February 3, 2009 – The Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) is pleased to announce that Zalmay Khalilzad, former United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations, has joined CSIS as a Counselor.  In becoming a Counselor, Ambassador Khalilzad joins former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski, former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills, former Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci, former Senator William E Brock (R-TN), former Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, Ambassador Richard Fairbanks, former Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger, former Senator Sam Nunn (D-GA), former Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger, and former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft as one of the Center's most distinguished global leaders and strategists.


"I am delighted to welcome Zalmay Khalilzad to CSIS," said Sam Nunn, CSIS Board of Trustees Chairman.  "Zal is a strategic thinker who is committed to helping solve some of the world's most complex problems.  CSIS will benefit greatly from his good judgment, his global experience, his vision, and his leadership."


On April 23, 2007 Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad began as the United States Permanent Representative to the United Nations.


From 2005 to 2007, Dr. Khalilzad was the United States Ambassador to Iraq. Secretary of Defense Gates awarded Dr. Khalilzad the Department of Defense medal for outstanding public service for his service in Iraq.   From 2003 to 2005, he served as the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and also as Special Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan. Then-Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld awarded Dr. Khalilzad the Department of Defense medal for outstanding public service for his work in Afghanistan.  President Karzai awarded him Afghanistan highest medal—the King Amanullah award.  Before becoming Ambassador to Afghanistan, he served as Presidential Envoy and Ambassador at Large for free Iraqis and he served at the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Islamic Outreach and Southwest Asia Initiatives, and prior to that as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Southwest Asia, Near East, and North African Affairs.


Dr. Khalilzad headed the Bush-Cheney transition team for the Department of Defense and has been a Counselor to Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld.


Between 1993 and 1999, Dr. Khalilzad was Director of the Strategy, Doctrine and Force Structure program for RAND's Project Air Force. While with RAND, he founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Between 1991 and 1992, Dr. Khalilzad served as Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning. Then-Secretary of Defense Cheney awarded Dr. Khalilzad the Department of Defense medal for outstanding public service. Dr. Khalilzad also served as a senior political scientist at RAND and an associate professor at the University of California at San Diego in 1989 and 1991. From 1985 to 1989 at the Department of State, Dr. Khalilzad served as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs working policy issues, advising on the Iran-Iraq war and the Soviet war in Afghanistan. From 1979 to 1986, Dr. Khalilzad was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University.


Dr. Khalilzad received his bachelor's and master's degree from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. He went on to earn a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. Dr. Khalilzad is the author of more than 200 books, articles, studies, and reports. His work has been translated in many languages including Arabic, Chinese, German, Japanese, and Turkish.  


“We are proud that Zal Khalilzad has joined CSIS as a Counselor,” said CSIS President and CEO, John J. Hamre.  “His keen intellect, considerable policy making skills and commitment to making the world a better place are of great value to our organization.”




CSIS Counselors are selected for their high standing in the policy community or past responsibilities in government.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a bipartisan, non-profit organization that seeks to advance global security and prosperity by providing strategic insights and practical policy solutions to decision-makers.