Cheryl Benard (born in 1953 in New Orleans, United States) is an adjunct researcher with the RAND Corporation and President of ARCH International, a DC-based non-profit research and advocacy organization dedicated to the support of cultural activism in all situations of post-conflict. Previously she was the research director of a European think tank, the Boltzmann Institute of Politics and prior to that, she taught Political Science at the University of Vienna.
She is a novelist and a widely published author on topics including popular sociology, refugees, women in nation-building, youth radicalization in the European Diaspora, and humanitarian aid. Her books have been translated into many other languages and some were best-sellers in Europe. Benard received her Ph.D. from the University of Vienna and a B.A. from the American University of Beirut.
As part of an investigation into allegations of money laundering by her husband, former U.S. official Zalmay Khalizad, she has had several of her bank accounts frozen in February 2014, with investigations being conducted in Austria by American investigators. Ms. Benard was subsequently cleared by the Austrian court after it revealed on September 10 it had dismissed the case and ordered the accounts unfrozen a week prior, on September 3. The leak was allegedly the result of court documents having been disposed of unshredded in the general trash and found by scavenging bloggers.
- The Government of God: Iran's Islamic Republic (1984) (with Zalmay Khalilzad) ISBN 0-231-05376-2
- Wie aus Mädchen tolle Frauen werden. Selbstbewußtsein jenseits aller Klischees (2000) ISBN 3-453-17264-7 (translation:
- Moghul Buffet (2000) ISBN 1-56947-179-7
- Turning on the Girls (2002) ISBN 0-7434-4291-1
- L'Inconnue de Peshawar (2002) ISBN 2-264-03224-3
- Einsame Cowboys. Jungen in der Pubertät (2002) ISBN 3-423-36295-2 (translation: Lonely Cowboys: boys in puberty
- Veiled Courage: Inside the Afghan Women's Resistance (2002) ISBN 0-7679-1301-9
- Supermacht Mann: oder das Ende der Vernunft (2004) ISBN 978-3-8000-3998-2 (translation: Superpower Man: or, the end of reason. This book is critical of U.S. military interventions.)
- Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies (2004) ISBN 0-8330-3438-3