Ambassador Omar Samad is founder and president of Silkroad Consulting L.L.C. based in Virginia. He was senior Afghan expert in-residence with the Center for Conflict Management at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington D.C. for a year until Jan. 2013. Prior, he served as Ambassador of Afghanistan to France (2009-2011), and Ambassador to Canada (2004-2009).
He was the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul and Director General, Information and Media Divisions (2001-2004). He also served as an advisor and speech-writer to the foreign minister, and as a member of the ministry's reform committee.
He represented the foreign ministry on the Tripartite U.S.-Afghanistan-Pakistan Security Commission from 2003 to 2004, and other bilateral and multilateral conferences.
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. He is published in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Afghanistan.
Omar Samad received a master's degree in international relations from The Fletcher School (Tufts University, Massachusetts) in 2006. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications and international studies from the American University (Washington D.C., 1991). He attended primary and secondary schools in Kabul, Paris, and London.
He is a founding member and advisor to the online platform Afghan Analytica, a member of the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council, on the advisory boards of The Kitson (Paris-based think tank), the Fletcher School’s MENASA advisory group, the Afghan Higher Education Student e-Mentoring Program (Erasingborders.org), and Initiative to Educate Afghan Women (IEAW).
He is fluent in English, French, and Dari-Farsi, and proficient in Pashto.