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Alex Thier is USAID’s assistant to the Administrator for Policy, Planning, and Learning (PPL). The PPL Bureau is USAID’s center for policy development, strategic planning, learning and evaluation, and partner engagement. From June 2010- June 2013, Thier served as assistant to the administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan affairs, overseeing USAID’s two largest missions in the world.
Before joining USAID, Thier served with the U.S. Institute of Peace as senior rule of law adviser and director for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2005- 2010. While at the Institute, he co-authored The Future of Afghanistan (2009) as well as The Next Chapter: The United States and Pakistan, the 2008 report of the Pakistan Working Group. Thier also served as director of the Institute’s Constitution Making, Peacebuilding, and National Reconciliation project, during which he advised numerous governments and civil society organizations engaged in ongoing constitutional drafting and national reconciliation exercises. Their was also a principal staffer on the Institute’s Genocide Prevention Task Force, and a co-author of its final report, Preventing Genocide: A Blueprint for U.S. Policymakers. The recommendations from this report formed the backbone of President Barack Obama’s 2011 Directive on Mass Atrocities.
Thier previously served as director of the Project on Failed States at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law. From 2002 to 2004, he was legal adviser to Afghanistan’s Constitutional and Judicial Reform Commissions in Kabul, where he assisted in the development of a new constitution and judicial system. He has also worked as a senior analyst for the International Crisis Group, a legal and constitutional expert to the British Department for International Development, and as an adviser to the Constitutional Commission of Southern Sudan.
From 1993 to 1996, Thier worked as a U.N. and NGO official in Afghanistan and Pakistan during the Afghan civil war. He also served as coordination officer for the U.N. Iraq Program in New York.
An attorney, Thier was a Skadden fellow and a graduate fellow at the U.S. National Security Council’s Directorate for Near-East and South Asia. He received the Richard S. Goldsmith award for outstanding work on dispute resolution from Stanford University in 2000.
Thier has a J.D. from Stanford Law School, a Master’s Degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and a Bachelor’s Degree from Brown University.
Last updated: July 26, 2013
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