Who We Are - USA



His Excellency Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad (ret.) President


Ambassador Said T. Jawad served as Afghanistan’s Ambassador to the United States from December of 2003 to September of 2010. A native of Kandahar, Afghanistan, Ambassador Jawad studied political science at Kabul University and Westfaelische Wilhelms University in Munster before completing his MBA at Golden Gate University in San Francisco. He worked at several prominent law firms in the United States until returning to Afghanistan just after the events of September 11, 2001. In Afghanistan, Ambassador Jawad served as Press Secretary and Chief of Staff to Afghan President Hamid Karzai and was President Karzai’s personal representative to the Afghan constitutional commission. Since 2003, he has served as the Afghan Ambassador to the United States as well as the non-resident ambassador to Brazil, Colombia, Argentina and Mexico. Ambassador Jawad is fluent in Pashto, Persian, English, French, and German.

Rachel Tinsley Pearson

Vice President, Secretary, Director

Rachel Pearson, a Washingtonian since 1995 draws on her extensive experience of elective politics and fundraising to provide corporations, associations, and non-profit organizations with strategic planning, counsel on charitable giving, and development. Pearson’s multi-faceted work in politics and policy is informed by a deep understanding of how Washington works – on the Hill and in the diplomatic and business communities.


She founded Pearson & Associates in 1996 and has tremendous experience in numerous Senate campaigns and three Presidential elections. Her success has allowed her to form deep and extensive relationships with Members of both houses of Congress. Recent clients include: Senators Portman, Isakson and Murkowski and Congressman Ben Quayle.


Miss Pearson has served as an advisor to the governments of Afghanistan and Kenya. In her work with Third Way, a leading DC think tank, Pearson successfully conceptualized and organized a summit for Members of Congress and business leaders on nuclear power and its promise. Currently, she is working with Third Way on designing a project on corporate tax reform.


Pearson & Associates also serve as consultants to the Washington business community. Some of their corporate clients have included Citi, Anheuser Busch, The National Association of Broadcasters, The Smithsonian American Art Museum and The National Thoroughbred Racing Association.


Pearson, an avid collector of drawings and prints, is a passionate supporter of the Arts. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of the Washington Performing Arts Society and is Vice President of the Foundation for Afghanistan. She dedicates much of her volunteer time to raising money for many charitable organizations.

The Honorable Mary Beth Long


The Honorable Mary Beth Long is the owner of Long & Associates, PLLC. A graduate of Penn State University and Washington and Lee University School of Law, Mary Beth Long has served as the United States Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). She is fluent in several languages.

Dr. Peter Kaivon Saleh


Dr. Peter Saleh is a former Senior Advisor to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Dr. Saleh has a long career in the public health sector both in the United States and abroad. Dr. Saleh was the Deputy Minister of Health and Social Welfare in the Imperial Government of Iran. In the United States, Dr. Saleh was the Director for Facilities Planning and Development at Kaiser Permanente’s Medical Care Program in Oakland, California and the President of Comprehensive Healthcare International Consultants (CHIC). After September 11th, Dr. Saleh has worked on the reconstruction of Afghanistan as an Attaché and Senior Advisor to the U.S. Embassy in Kabul’s Afghan Reconstruction Group (ARG) and as the Senior Advisor for Health Programs to the Defense Reconstruction Support Office. In 2007, Dr. Saleh transitioned to his current position at SIGAR. He is fluent in both Persian and English.

Dr. Peter Kaivon Saleh


Mr. Masud Akbar

Treasurer, Director


Masud Akbar is the Vice President of Investments at Royal Bank of Canada Wealth Management Division. Mr. Akbar has over 17 years experience in the investment brokerage industry managing investments for institutions and high net worth individuals in equity, debt and derivatives markets.


The son of an Afghan diplomat, Mr. Akbar was born in Washington DC, he returned to Afghanistan at the age of two with his family, where he resided until the Soviet invasion. He returned to the United States in 1980. Mr. Akbar has a deep philanthropic commitment to his community, and actively supports The Ayenda Foundation, Aschiana, and The Children's National Medical Center among others. He sits on the board of Trustees for the American University of Afghanistan, on the board of the Marshall Legacy Institute, and on the board of Foundation for Afghanistan. He graduated from the University of Maryland where he received his Bachelors of Science degree in Finance. Mr. Akbar currently resides in Washington, D.C.

Dr. S. Fredrick Starr


Dr. S. Frederick Starr earned his B.A. Degree at Yale University in 1962 and his Ph.D. in history at Princeton University. He is fluent in Russian, and is the author or editor of 20 books and more than 200 articles on Russian and Eurasian affairs.


Dr. Starr is a research professor at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. His expertise is in Afghanistan, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Russia and the rest of the former Soviet Union. He focuses on developing nations, energy and environment issues, Islamic faith, culture and law, and oil politics.


Starr began work in the Turkic world as an archaeologist in Turkey and went on to found the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies, which opened U.S. research contact with Central Asia. He served as vice president of Tulane University and president of Oberlin College (1983-1994) and the Aspen Institute. He has advised three U.S. presidents on Russian/Eurasian affairs and chaired an external advisory panel on U.S. government-sponsored research on the region, organized and co-authored the first comprehensive strategic assessment of Central Asia, the Caucasus and Afghanistan for the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1999, and has followed up by close involvement in drafting of recent U.S. legislation affecting the region.

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