Born in central Logar Province on May 19, 1949, Ghani, who holds a doctorate in Anthropology from Columbia University, first went to the U.S. as a high school exchange student. Except for a brief teaching stint at Kabul University in the early 1970s, Ghani lived in the United States, where he was an academic until joining the World Bank as a senior adviser in 1991. He returned to Afghanistan after 24 years when the Taliban were ousted by the U.S.-led coalition. Ghani was first the head of Kabul University until he joined President Hamid Karzai’s government as finance minister. In 2010 he led the lengthy process to transfer security of the country from U.S.-led coalition forces to Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF), which took effect in 2014. Ghani first ran for president in 2009, capturing barely a quarter of the votes. He ran again in 2014 in what was considered a deeply flawed and corrupt exercise. Rival Abdullah Abdullah took the most votes in a first round and Ghani the most in a second. So deeply flawed were the polls that the United States, fearing widespread violence, intervened to cobble together a Unity Government that allowed the two to share power: Ghani as president and Abdullah as chief executive. Ghani and Abdullah’s five-year rule as a Unity Government has been a tumultuous one marked by relentless bickering and infighting. Corruption remains rampant. https://nowruzcommission.org/our-history-mission-and-vision/board-of-directors/ His Excellency Dr. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is a member of the board of directors of the Nowruz Commission, and the President of Afghanistan. He is a former Minister of Finance for Afghanistan. He is also a Co-founder of the Institute of State Effectiveness, an organization set up in January 2005 to promote the ability of states to serve their citizens. As Afghanistan’s minister between July 2002 and December 2004, he set the path for Afghanistan’s economic recovery after the collapse of the Taliban. Dr. Ghani is also a member of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, an independent initiative hosted by the UNDP. Dr. Ghani received his Master’s and PhD degrees in anthropology from Columbia University and has also attended Harvard –Insead and Stanford Busines schools leadership training program for the World Bank. He served on the faculty of Kabul University (1973–77), Aarhus University in Denmark (1977), University of California, Berkeley (1983), and Johns Hopkins University (1983–1991). His academic research was on state-building and social transformations. In 1985 he undertook a year of fieldwork researching PakistaniMadrasas as a Fulbright Scholar. He has also studied comparative religion. He joined the World Bank in 1991, working on projects in East Asia and South Asia until the mid 1990s. In 1996, he pioneered the application of institutional and organizational analysis to macro processes of change and reform, working directly on the adjustment program of the Russian coal industry and carrying out reviews of the Bank’s country assistance strategies and structural adjustment programs globally. He spent five years each inChina, India, and Russia managing large-scale development and institutional transformation projects. He had worked intensively with the media during the first Gulf War, commenting on major radio and television programs and being interviewed by newspapers.