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Mr. Hekmat Khalil Karzai became the Chairman of the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies in January of 2019.

Prior to his current appointment, he served as the Deputy Foreign Minister of Afghanistan from January 2015 to October 2018. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he chaired several national and international processes/forums including Heart of Asia- Istanbul Process, Regional Economic Cooperation Conference for Afghanistan (RECCA), and International Contact Group (ICG) amongst others. He led the Afghan delegation in the first face to face talks with the Taliban in July 2015 and at the Quadrilateral Coordination Group meetings, creating an enabling environment for the Afghan peace process.

In 2006, Mr Karzai founded the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS), one of the first think tanks in Afghanistan. Under his leadership, CAPS became one of the leading research and advocacy centres in Afghanistan. In addition to its headquarters in Kabul, CAPS has regional branches in Kandahar, Khost, and Helmand.

Mr. Karzai has been engaged in various national processes with particular emphasis on the Peace Process and Youth Empowerment. In 2009 he authored a major initiative titled: Trust Building and Paving the Road for Reconciliation. As a result of his effort, CAPS provided pro-bono legal assistance to thousands of security detainees throughout the country.

Mr. Karzai also established the CAPS Strategic Shura, which works on various strategic levels and is an informal channel to deal with the challenges of the peace process on the ground.

Mr. Karzai is considered an authority on Afghanistan and has been invited to address the European Parliament and numerous organisations including the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London) and Centre for Strategic and International Studies (Washington, DC). He has delivered numerous lectures, including at Harvard and Tufts Universities on security and state building. He serves as non- resident Senior Fellow at the East West Institute in Brussels.

In May of 2002, he was appointed as the Head of the Political Department at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC.

Mr. Karzai has Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from University of Maryland, United States of America; Masters of Science in Information Technology (American I. University, United States of American; and Masters of Science in Strategic Studies (Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, Singapore)

While working on a Masters degree at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore, he served as a RMS Fellow at the School’s International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research, where his primary focus was the South and Central Asia regions.

His dissertation on ‘Strengthening Security in Contemporary Afghanistan: Coping with the Taliban’ was published by the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. His study on suicide terrorism in Afghanistan ‘How to curve the rising suicide terrorism in Afghanistan’ was the first on the subject and was published by the Christian Science Monitor and the Straits Times.

From 2004 till 2005, he served as an International Fellow at the Edmund Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University where he conducted research on Terrorism, Violent Extremism, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the Al Qaeda movement.

Mr. Karzai has written extensively on Afghanistan, security (terrorism and insurgency), peace and reconciliation and his articles have been published in numerous publications, including New York Times, and Christian Science Monitor.

Mr. Karzai is the son of Shaheed Khalil Khan and brother of Shaheed Hashmat Khan. He was born in Kandahar and in addition to English has fluency in Pashto, Dari and Urdu (Hindi).