Praised for his inclusive tactics, convivial style, and result oriented approach, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad’s record in the most turbulent areas of U.S. foreign policy has earned him broad respect throughout the world. Serving as the 26th United States Ambassador to the United Nations, he dealt with extraordinary global issues during one of the most challenging periods in our history, including the recent Russia-Georgia conflict and the Mumbai terror attacks. He is the highest-ranking Muslim in U.S. Government in United States history. Previously, he served as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, where he played a significant role in facilitating both countries’ constitutions, elections and formation of government. In Iraq, he was instrumental in getting the Sunni Arabs to participate in the political process and move away from al-Qaeda. Ambassador Khalilzad’s first-hand knowledge and experience as a statesman in these important hotspots at this crucial juncture in time give him unparalleled insights into the global issues of security, terror, extremism, state building, peace negotiation, and energy.
U.S. Global Leadership
With first-hand knowledge amassed from his diplomatic positions as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Afghanistan and to the United Nations, Ambassador Khalilzad assesses the challenges the U.S. faces in the changing global landscape and their implications for the American people and effective U.S. strategy for the future.
Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East—Challenges and Opportunities
As Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, Ambassador Khalilzad provides an unprecedented insider perspective on Afghanistan and its future as we become more engaged in that country by sending more forces, the future of Pakistan, Iraq and its future prospects with implications for US security, economy and what must be done to reach peace in the Middle East.
Iran’s Nuclear Threat
Iran’s rise and ambitions— failure to meet its international nuclear nonproliferation obligations and its aggressive foreign policy – including lethal support to Lebanese Hezbollah, Hamas, Taliban fighters and Iraqi extremists--are central issue for the future of the Middle East and the world. Ambassador Khalilzad led efforts to increase pressure on Tehran, which despite repeated warnings and a set of economic sanctions, is likely to achieve key nuclear milestones in the coming months. Ambassador Khalilzad has also engaged Iranian leaders on Afghanistan and Iraq on behalf of the US. Ambassador Khalilzad reveals what’s at stake, as 2009 will be a pivotal year in the controversy over Iran's nuclear program—and what would be an effective approach to Iran.
The United States and a Rising China
China is emerging as a formidable power, one that might offer an alternative to the current U.S. role as the region's preferred security partner and its ultimate security manager. Ambassador Khalilzad discusses the shifting balance of power and what it means for the U.S, the global economy and the business world.
Resource Challenges Facing the U.S.
As a former energy consultant, Ambassador Khalilzad addresses U.S. energy and security implications amid dynamic global competition for resources, including oil, gas, water and minerals.
Managing Post-Conflict Reconstruction
Based on the experience in Afghanistan and Iraq, Ambassador Khalilzad addresses lessons leaned on translating executing and adapting political and economic reconstructions in post—major conflict environments.
A Distinguished Statesman
Having served as Ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan, Ambassador Khalilzad brought unprecedented credentials, regional knowledge and strong negotiating skills to his appointment as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. He skillfully navigated many critical issues for the United States, including Darfur, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, the Middle East, and U.N. reform.
Paving the Way for the New Governments of Afghanistan and Iraq
After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, President Bush came to rely on Dr. Khalilzad's Afghanistan expertise. Dr. Khalilzad was involved in the early stages of planning to overthrow the Taliban and on December 31st, 2001, and was selected as Bush's Special Presidential Envoy to Afghanistan. He served in that position until November 2003, when he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. He oversaw the drafting of Afghanistan's constitution, was involved with the country's first elections, and helped to organize the first meeting of Afghanistan's parliament. Ambassador Khalilzad was sworn in on June 22, 2005 as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq. He was credited for helping negotiate compromises which allowed the ratification of Iraq's Constitution in October 2005. He worked to ensure that the December 2005 elections ran smoothly and played a substantial role in forming the current government.