Afghan Advisors

The following Afghan peace and development experts are currently advising the program:

Dostyar Afghan Project

Aref Dostyar is an Advisor and Program Leader for the Afghanistan Program for Peace and Development (AfPAD) at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. In this role, he collaborates with Notre Dame faculty and staff from various programs and institutes to create and support initiatives to amplify Afghan voices for an inclusive and peaceful Afghanistan.

Previously, Dostyar worked as Afghanistan’s Consul General in Los Angeles from 2020 until the fall of Kabul to the Taliban. Prior to that, he served at Afghanistan's Office of the National Security Council in the positions of Director General for International Relations and Director of Peace and Reconciliation Affairs. In these leadership positions, he provided regular policy insight to the Leadership of Afghanistan, served as liaison to global foreign policy directors, and authored several strategic documents including the National Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism, which led to the teaching of peaceful cohabitation in mosques and schools across the country.

Dostyar’s writings and interviews can be found in the New York Times, the BBC, the Foreign Policy Magazine, and several other publications.

More information about Dostyar’s recent work including policy briefs, public policy forums, and Track II dialogue initiatives can be accessed via AfPAD’s resources webpage. He tweets from @ArefDostyar.


Malalai Habibi serves as an advisor to the AfPAD. She currently works with the International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN) as a Program Officer and furthers the women, peace and security agenda, with a particular focus on supporting Afghan women peacebuilders. Previously she worked with the Afghan diaspora, particularly with women and children in Iran. She was engaged with different entities including the Afghanistan Embassy in Tehran and Herat University in Afghanistan on topics around women, peace, and education.

Her publications on Afghanistan in both Farsi and English can be found in Devex, Peace Direct, Etilaatroz, BBC Farsi, VOA Dari, and Deutschlandfunk Kultur.  She is a 2019 graduate of the Master of Global Affairs, International Peace Studies program and is originally from Herat, Afghanistan.

Roqia Samim

Roqia Samim works as Senior Research Associate of Human Rights L.L.M Program at the University Notre Dame's Law School.  Samim has an L.L.M degree from Notre Dame and an undergraduate degree from Herat University, Afghanistan. She worked with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2019 to 2020 in the Political Affairs Service and Human Rights Service to promote Sustainable Development Goals for Gender Equality, Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. Samim's recent publication is on the State of Women's Rights and Freedoms after the Taliban's Takeover in Afghanistan.

Notre Dame Faculty

The following Notre Dame faculty members are active as part of the AfPAD. 

Alvarez Afghan Project

Josefina Echavarría Alvarez, Associate Professor of the Practice and Director of the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM)

Cortright Afghan Project

David Cortright, Professor Emeritus of the Practice, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies

Joshi Afghan Project

Madhav Joshi,  Research Professor and Associate Director of the Peace Accords Matrix (PAM)

Moosa Afghan Project

Ebrahim Moosa, Mirza Family Professor of Islamic Thought and Muslim Societies, Keough School of Global Affairs, Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, and Department of History

Nathan Afghan Project

Laurie Nathan,  Professor of the Practice of Mediation and Kroc Institute Mediation Program Director

Offenheiser Afghan Project

Ray Offenheiser, William J. Pulte Director, Pulte Institute for Global Development; Professor of the Practice

Schirch Afghan Project

Lisa Schirch, Richard G. Starmann, Sr. Professor of the Practice of Peace Studies, Kroc Institute