Audio: An Interview with Dr. Michael Smith, President of the American University of Afghanistan: The Power of Education

  • Jun 27, 2014
    Duration: 00:47:45

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    Dr. Michael Smith
    President, American University of Afghanistan
    Moderated by:
    Daniel Runde
    Director of the Project on Prosperity and Development and William A. Schreyer Chair in Global Analysis, CSIS
    Dr. Michael Smith serves as the President of the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), the first private nonprofit university in the country, and will be staying on his role through the Fall 2014 semester. During the discussion, Dr. Smith will reflect on his time at AUAF and the important role of education in the future of Afghanistan. Under his leadership and support from donors such as USAID and the U.S. Department of Defense, AUAF has received growing recognition as Afghanistan's premier higher education institution. AUAF opened its doors in 2006 with an initial enrollment of 53 students, 52 men and one woman, and today enrolls more than 2000 students, and 32% are women. 

    Prior to joining the AUAF, Dr. Smith served as president of the American University of Nigeria from 2005-2009. Before that, he served on the Commission for Academic Accreditation in the United Arab Emirates from 2002-2005. In this role he advised the UAE Minister of Higher Education on matters related to higher education quality. Dr. Smith also served as President of the Hillsborough Education Foundation in Tampa, Florida, and CEO of the Philadelphia Education Fund, the nation's second largest education fund. Dr. Smith is a graduate of the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University and holds a Ph.D. in British and American Literature from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.