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SPIA Afghanistan Policy Lab

The SPIA Afghanistan Policy Lab aims to help build an inclusive, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan that represents all its citizens equally. Academic fellows from Afghanistan, who worked previously in support of U.S. government efforts there, will collaborate with members of Princeton SPIA’s academic community on policy relevant research. The fellows will also analyze and provide policy recommendations to address challenges from the evolving situation on the ground in Afghanistan including policies impacting humanitarian aid, women and girls, and national healing and reconciliation.


Robertson Hall

“Bright Spots”: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustained International Engagement in Afghanistan

SPIA’s master’s class of Public Policy Affairs and Public Policy under the supervision of distinguished senior scholar Prof. Salam Fayyad, developed a research report titled “Bright Spots”: Challenges and Opportunities for Sustained International Engagement in Afghanistan under the course Designing a Framework for Afghanistan’s Future. The Afghanistan Policy Lab at Princeton University School of Public and International Affairs engaged with the students in the class for the course on topics i.e. humanitarian assistance, girls’ education/women’s rights, civic space and reconciliation.
Afghan girls at school in Herat Afghanistan

The War on Schoolgirls: Responding to the Education Crisis in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan over the past four decades, educational opportunities, especially for girls, have been limited. Chronic poverty, war, insecurity, and cultural norms have all impeded girls' access to education. This brief relies on primary source interviews to analyze the barriers to education for girls in Afghanistan and to assess the impacts on Afghan society of Taliban restrictions.

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Announcing the SPIA Afghanistan Policy Lab Initiative

Fellows in the lab include researchers, women activists, government officials, and journalists. They will produce work on humanitarian aid, civic space, women, and national healing and reconciliation.
Meet the Director

Ambassador Adela Raz served as the last Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United States. Prior to that Amb. Raz served as the first female Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the United Nations.  At the U.N., Amb. Raz was the Vice President of the 75th session of the General Assembly, and was also appointed by the President of U.N’s General Assembly to serve as the co-coordinator on COVID-19-related initiatives.

Before her arrival at the U.N. Amb. Raz was the Deputy Foreign Minister in Afghanistan. At the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), she managed the regional and economic cooperation portfolios and led the two major platforms: the Regional Economic Cooperation Conferences on Afghanistan and the Heart of Asia – Istanbul Process. On behalf of MFA, she helped to manage and coordinate the Brussels (2016) and Geneva (2018) Donor Conferences on Afghanistan and led the negotiations on the outcome documents.

In 2013, she served as the first female Deputy Spokesperson and Director of Communications for President Hamid Karzai.

She began her career with the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and continued to work in a variety of positions at various international development organizations in the U.S. and Afghanistan.

Amb. Raz holds a Master of Arts degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University, and a Bachelor of Arts, with honors, with triple majors in International Relations, Political Science, and Economics from Simmons University in Boston. She also earned a certificate in International Development from the Fletcher School at Tufts University.

Adela Raz

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