Omar Samad

Senior Central Asia Fellow, International Security Program

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.

All Work

INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Afghanistan examining claim Taliban leader Mullah Omar died

“All odds and indications point to the fact that he has been dead for at least two years”, said Omar Samad, senior adviser to Afghan Chief E


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Taliban council elects new leader after Mullah Omar’s death

Separately, an adviser to the country's chief executive said that the Taliban leader was believed to be dead. “All odds and indications poin


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Taliban's Mullah Omar died in 2013, Afghan government says

Omar Samad, senior adviser to Afghan Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, said, "All odds and indications point to the fact that he has been d


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
Taliban leader backs Afghan peace talks in Eid message

"Odd or not? With few exceptions, most tweets by Afghans cast doubts about Mullah Omar [statement], while media has different take," tweeted


INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
The Weekly Wonk: Karzai's Dangerous Game

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is refusing to sign the U.S. peace agreement that outlines the terms of our 2014 withdrawal.