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Farhana Qazi

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Farhana is an internationally-recognized terrorism expert who advises U.S. policymakers and is a frequent speaker at U.S. government events and international conferences.

For nearly a decade, Ms. Qazi has been the most prominent American-Muslim woman to examine conflicts in the Islamic world. Her travels to South Asia, which include Pakistan and the disputed region of Kashmir, as well as to other Islamic countries to assess patterns of violence has made her an internationally-recognized terrorism expert. Based on her knowledge of events in the Muslim world, Ms. Qazi advises U.S. policymakers and is a frequent speaker at U.S. government events and international conferences.

Currently, she is a Senior Instructor for Pakistan on the AFPAK Regional Training Team responsible for designing a variety of training courses for the U.S. military and other government audiences. These courses offer students an in-depth look at Pakistan. Qazi provides a unique insight into Pakistan, given her cultural, ethnic, and linguistic heritage. She introduces students to Pakistan’s vast geography, offers historical context and reviews the fragile state’s political landscape, as well as closely examines cultural trends. In addition to instructing the Foundation class at The National Defense University, Ms. Qazi participates in senior-level training courses or seminars, specifically addressing governance and politics of Pakistan. In addition to teaching at NDU, she instructs several times a year to various U.S. military audiences and government officials. Evaluations from former students and coordinators point to her energy, enthusiasm, and expertise on Pakistan’s complexities and contradictions. Ms. Qazi also teaches classes on Islam and Islamic civilization, focusing on historical contributions of the faith as well as challenges within political Islam.      

Before 9/11, Ms. Qazi was the first American Muslim woman to serve in the Counter-Terrorism Center in the US government. She provided support to senior officials in the administration and worked across the U.S. military and diplomatic community. Her contribution to the Center has not been unnoticed. She received several Meritorious Awards for outstanding service. Before leaving the government, she was also recognized for her expertise on Islam and overall contribution to the Center.

After five years of service, she soon joined the RAND Corporation in August 2005 as an International Policy Analyst. Her research has been focused on the impact of Islamist movements in the Arab Middle East as well as security challenges to South Asia. She managed several research projects inside Pakistan, which included an examination of the madrasa or religious educational system, the security dynamics in Kashmir, and the role of women in leading Islamist movements.

Ms. Qazi is widely published and quoted in media around the world. Her editorial titled “Where is the Revolt in Pakistan?” for Reuters in May 2011 has received international attention while previous publications on the female suicide bomber trend in Iraq have prompted action by senior U.S. policymakers at the U.S. Embassy and the Multi-National Force-Iraq in Baghdad. Her articles and reviews have also appeared in The International Herald Tribune, Foreign Policy Newsweek, The Middle East Times, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Oxford Analytica, and Reuters, CTC Sentinel, Dawn, United Press International, Associated Press, Globe and Mail, as well as academic journals in the United States and Pakistan. Her work can be accessed on her website, www.farhanaqazi.com. She has been featured on CNN, BBC, PBS, Al-Jazeera, FOX, National Public Radio (NPR), Voice of America, and other media all over the world, including Pakistani state television. This year, she has been working on a book that addresses the women of the Kashmir valley.

Ms. Qazi is a frequent speaker at international conferences and regularly designs courses tailored for U.S. government audiences on political Islam and emerging threats to the United States and the larger global community. In 2010 and 2011, she developed courses for U.S. government analysts on Islamic radicalization and political trends in the Muslim world that likely affect U.S. foreign policy. She has presented her work to diverse audiences, which have included Oxford University, The International Institute for Strategic Studies in the United Kingdom, The School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, The National Defense University in Pakistan and more.  

Born in Pakistan, Qazi grew up in the southern state of Texas. She is a graduate of The Security Policy Studies Program at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and holds a Bachelors of Arts from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. She is the recipient of the Excellence in French Award and a multiple year recipient of Academic Achievement Award.

She is proficient in Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi, French, and is learning modern standard Arabic.