Ambassador Robin Raphel is a consultant on political, security and economic development issues in South Asia and the Middle East. As a career foreign service officer, she served nearly 40 years in U.S. foreign affairs agencies, including the Department of State, USAID, and DoD. She was the first Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia, Ambassador to Tunisia, Vice President of the National Defense University, and Deputy Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. She managed the sharp increase of development assistance to Pakistan under the late Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, and deployed to Iraq with the first civilian contingent after the 2003 invasion to help restore the critical food ration system throughout the country.
Earlier in her career she served in Pakistan, India, South Africa and the UK, and taught history at Damavand Women’s College in Iran. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the American Academy of Diplomacy, and serves as a Senior Adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, C&O Resources, and Nichols Liu LLC. She is on the board of the Association of Diplomatic Studies and Training, the Friends of The American University of Afghanistan, and Pugwash USA. She maintains an active interest in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and is a frequent participant in informal “Track II” discussions on the Afghan peace process.
Ambassador Raphel holds a BA degree in history and economics from the University of Washington, and Master’s degrees in Economics from the University of Maryland and Modern European History from Murray Edwards College at Cambridge University in the UK. She has two grown daughters.