The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 31, 2001

President Bush announced today the appointment of Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad as his Special Presidential Envoy for Afghanistan.  The Special Envoy is a representative to the Afghan people as they seek to consolidate a new order, reconstruct their country and free it from al-Qaida and Taliban control.  The position of the Special Envoy was established to underscore the President's support for these objectives.  The Special Envoy will work with the Representative of the United Nations Secretary General on Afghanistan.  He will report to the President through Secretary of State Colin Powell.  Dr. Khalilzad will continue as the Special Assistant to the President for Southwest Asia, Near East and North Africa, reporting through the National Security Advisor, Dr. Condoleezza Rice.

Dr. Khalilzad headed the Bush-Cheney Transition team for the Department of Defense and has been a Counselor to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Between 1993 and 1999, Dr. Khalilzad was Director of the Strategy, Doctrine and Force Structure program for RAND's Project Air Force.  While with RAND, he founded the Center for Middle Eastern Studies.  Between 1991 and 1992, Dr. Khalilzad served as Assistant Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Planning.  He also served as a senior political scientist at RAND and an associate professor at the University of California at San Diego in 1989 and 1991.  From 1985 to 1989 at the Department of State, Dr. Khalilzad served as Special Advisor to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, advising on the Iran-Iraq War and the Soviet War in Afghanistan. From 1979 to 1989, Dr. Khalilzad was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. Dr. Khalilzad holds a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago (1979).

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