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II Roundtable on Afghanistan

This roundtable discusses the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, what it means for the future of Afghanistan, and its broader implications for both the region and combatting terrorism.


Antonio Giustozzi is a visiting scholar at King’s College London and the author of numerous works on the Taliban and Afghan state-building, including the acclaimed Taliban at War: 2001-2018. He holds a PhD from the LSE (International Relations) and a BA in Contemporary History from the University of Bologna. He was at the Crisis States Research Centre (LSE) until January 2011. He served with UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan) in 2003-4.

Ambassador Susan D. Page is a professor of practice in international diplomacy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy's Weiser Diplomacy Center, and a professor from practice at the University of Michigan Law School. She has deep expertise in international relations, particularly in Africa, and served in numerous senior-level roles such as the first U.S. Ambassador to newly independent South Sudan and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.

Javed Ali is an associate professor of practice at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He is a former senior director for counterterrorism at the National Security Council, with over 20 years of professional experience in national security and intelligence issues in Washington, DC. He served in the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he also held senior positions on joint duty assignments at the National Intelligence Council, the National Counterterrorism Center, and the National Security Council.

Pauline Jones is professor of political science and director of the Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum (DISC). Her work has contributed broadly to the study of institutional origin, change, and impact, on the former Soviet Central Asia. Currently, she is engaged in two major research projects. One explores the influence of religion on political attitudes and behavior in Muslim majority states with an emphasis on the relationship between religious regulation, religiosity, and political mobilization. The other focuses on identifying the factors that affect the extent to which people comply with public health directives in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. She has published articles in several leading academic and policy journals, including the American Political Science Review and Foreign Affairs, and is the author (or co-author) of five books; most recently, The Oxford Handbook on Politics in Muslim Societies (Oxford University Press 2021).

Juan Cole is a public intellectual, prominent blogger and essayist, and the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. For almost four decades, Professor Cole has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context in works such as his recent Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires (2018) and written extensively on Egypt, Iraq, and South Asia. He is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Informed Comment blog and has appeared widely on media, including the PBS News Hour, the Today Show, Rachel Maddow, the Colbert Report, Democracy Now! and many others.

Co-Sponsors: Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies, Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies, Center for South Asian Studies, Digital Islamic Studies Curriculum, Center for Middle Eastern & North African Studies, Global Islamic Studies Center