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Thomas Ruttig

Co-founder and co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network

Thomas Ruttig is a co-founder and co-director of the Afghanistan Analysts Network. He has worked on and in Afghanistan since he graduated in Afghan Studies from Humboldt University, Berlin (Germany) in 1985: as a GDR diplomat, including at the GDR Embassy in Kabul (1985-89), as political affairs officer for two United Nations missions in Afghanistan (2000-2003, including as UNSMA head of office Kabul, adviser to the Afghan Independent Emergency Loya Jirga Commission and UNAMA head of office Islamabad and Gardez), deputy to the EU Special Representative for Afghanistan (2003-2004); political adviser to the German Embassy in Kabul (2004-06), visiting fellow at the Berlin think-tank Stiftung Wissenschaft and Politik (SWP; 2006-2008) and independent political analyst, author and consultant, including as advisor to the Netherlands’ PRT in Uruzgan province (2008-2009). He has altogether spent more than 13 years in Afghanistan and speaks Pashto and Dari.

Thomas also has extensive experience as a foreign news editor and freelance journalist, mainly on Afghanistan, Central Asia, foreign affairs and development issues (1989-2001). He has published on a wide range of subjects, with a focus on Afghanistan’s political forces, democratic development and peace. He regularly writes for German and other newspapers, mainly Berlin daily taz (die tageszeitung), and also blogs about Afghanistan in German, under Afghanistan Zhaghdablai.

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