Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani
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|Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani|
Dr. Ahmad Yusef Nuristani in December 2009
|Governor of Herat Province, Afghanistan|
January 18, 2009
|Preceded by||Sayed Hussein Anwari|
|Succeeded by||Daud Shah Saba|
Shigram, Parom District, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan
Dr. Ahmad Yusuf Nuristani is a well-known and highly respected politician in Afghanistan. Nuristani played an important role in the resistance against the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. He was the spokesperson for President Hamid Karzai, and Chief of Presidential Media, Office of the President, during the interim administration. Subsequently, he was appointed as a Minister of Irrigation, Water Resources, and Environment during the transitional period of Afghan government. Responsible for planning and policy development, implementation, and oversight of the ministry's budget/spending; managed rehabilitation projects relating to the repair of old and damaged irrigation systems, and the design of over 1200 small and medium-sized irrigation canals during tenure as minister; paved the way for the completion of large irrigation systems which were left incomplete due to the war, such as the Kajaki Dam, Salma Dam, and Kunduz and Khan Abad irrigation projects; addressed and mitigated many human resource challenges in terms of limited trained professionals for executing projects. He secured funding for training from the Asian Development Bank and from USAID, Canadian CIDA, and GTZ and KFW Germany in order to repair damaged reservoirs; raised funds for various development projects by securing grants reaching over $12 million from the World Bank – enabling feasibility studies of major irrigation projects ensured training of Ministry staff in their respective fields and particularly in procurement procedures acceptable to international organizations. From 2005 to 2008 Nuristani was the 1st Deputy Defense Minister, Government of Afghanistan. He assisted Minister of Defense in policy development and implementation in relation to the Afghan National Army; provided oversight of the ministries budget/spending; facilitated training and equipping of the Afghan National Army with help of international forces, particularly the United States of America; participated in the strategic partnership discussion between Afghanistan and the United States and many other NATO-sponsored meetings in various European capitals; provided oversight and management of contracts established between the Ministry and the US government in the development of military barracks and for obtaining necessary logistical supplies; involved in long-term education of young prospective Afghan military officers; established an intensive one-year professional command training program for high-ranking military officers at the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania; played a major role in the repair and equipping the 400-bed military hospital in Kabul City; responsible for overseeing all Ministry of Defense-owned property in Afghanistan; served as acting Defense Minister during the Defense Minister’s absence.
From 1992 to 1996 Nuristani has worked as a Project Coordinator, Basic Education for Afghan Refugees, GTZ/UNHCR- sponsored project, in Peshawar, Pakistan. As a project coordinator, Nuristani managed programs aimed at serving educational needs of Afghan refugee children from grades one through six in the entire North West Frontier Province of Pakistan; provided overall guidance and coordination between GTZ and collaborating organizations (e.g. Ministry of Education, UNHCR, UNICEF, EU Commission for Afghan Refugees) in terms implementing formal and informal educational projects; forged relations with various religious and political organizations interested in working in the educational field of Afghan refugee children who also promoted curriculums based on own ideologies and political thoughts; served as chairman of ACBAR educational committee, and in this capacity created curriculum standards that adequately served educational and cultural needs of children. From 1988 to 1990 Nuristani worked as a Senior Cultural Specialist, United States Information Service (USIS)-Afghan Program, in Peshawar, Pakistan. In this position, Nuristani administered US international visitors exchange program (I.V.) by sending prospective political leaders to the US in order to acquire leadership and democratic skills; facilitated Fulbright, Hubert Humphrey, and North and South Fellowship and other fellowship and scholarship exchange programs; worked closely with Afghan resistance leaders and parties in Pakistan in order to promote good working relations and understanding between Afghan resistance parties and the US foreign mission in Pakistan; established the monthly 8-page journal, called Itlaat, in order to disseminate information on US foreign policies and other relevant issues in the region.
From 1975 to 1978, Nuristani worked as a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona, United States of America. He also worked as an assistant professor in the Department of Social Sciences and Humanities, Kabul University, Kabul, Afghanistan. He has been actively involved in Afghan politics for the last 30 years and has participated in major conferences related to Afghan issues. He was one of the founding members of the Writer's Union of Free Afghanistan (WUFA) as well as the Afghan Professor's University Association (APUA) during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan while living in Peshawar, Pakistan. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of Arizona located in Tucson, Arizona.
DR. Nuristani was a central figure in the 2014 election crisis of Afghanistan, as the chairman of the election commission his deputies were accused of ballot stuff in favor now president Ashraf Ghani. Nuristani has been a controversial figure in the election process of Afghanistan and despite Afghan public opinion being against him he still insisted on staying as the chairman of the election commission. March 26th 2016 in a surprise move Nuristani resigned from his post as the chairman of election commission.
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Sayed Hussein Anwari
|Governor of Herat Province, Afghanistan
January 18, 2009-August 24, 2010
Daud Shah Saba