About Us

Our Mission

The Friends of the American University of Afghanistan (FAUAF) supports specific charitable, scientific and educational purposes activities conducted by academic institutions in Afghanistan, including but not limited to The American University of Afghanistan (AUAF), both by supporting the programs and facilities of such academic institutions within Afghanistan and its associated community in locations outside Afghanistan and by increasing awareness and understanding of such academic institutions in communities outside Afghanistan.

Our Story

Board of Trustees

Leslie Schweitzer headshot
Leslie M. Schweitzer
President & Chair
Schweitzer founded the Friends of the American University of Afghanistan in 2008, a 501c3 that supports not-for-profit, private, co-educational, non-sectarian higher education in Afghanistan, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of AUAF. Over four decades, Schweitzer has accumulated a unique combination of founding businesses in emerging and post conflict markets and facilitating capacity-building projects throughout the world. She has amassed on-the-ground e perience in over 20 countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Turkey, Chile, Russia, the Caribbean, and Central America. Schweitzer pioneered U.S.-China trade beginning in 1977 as a co-founder of Noble Trading Company. After selling her company, Schweitzer served as the Senior Trade Advisor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Schweitzer’s responsibilities included: founding a private-public partnership to promote trade between Turkey and US; creating Trade Roots, the first and only sustained national grassroots international trade education program, promote support for Congressional passage of China PNTR, TPA, trade agreements with Chile, Singapore, Australia, Morocco, CAFTA, Peru, South Korea, Panama, and Colombia; and working on the Iraq Business Initiative to re-energize U.S. investment in Iraq. Schweitzer is a member of U.S. Afghan Women’s Council, the Advisory Board of International Programs-University of Kansas, D.C.-Virginia DEC, International Stability Operations Association Advisory Council, Advisory Board Four Star Global Security, Board of Trustees of the Command and General Staff College, and IWIU.
Leslie M. Schweitzer
Schweitzer founded the Friends of the American University of Afghanistan in 2008, a 501c3 that supports not-for-profit, private, co-educational, non-sectarian higher education in Afghanistan, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of AUAF. Over four decades, Schweitzer has accumulated a unique combination of founding businesses in emerging and post conflict markets and facilitating capacity-building projects throughout the world. She has amassed on-the-ground e perience in over 20 countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, China, Turkey, Chile, Russia, the Caribbean, and Central America. Schweitzer pioneered U.S.-China trade beginning in 1977 as a co-founder of Noble Trading Company. After selling her company, Schweitzer served as the Senior Trade Advisor for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Schweitzer’s responsibilities included: founding a private-public partnership to promote trade between Turkey and US; creating Trade Roots, the first and only sustained national grassroots international trade education program, promote support for Congressional passage of China PNTR, TPA, trade agreements with Chile, Singapore, Australia, Morocco, CAFTA, Peru, South Korea, Panama, and Colombia; and working on the Iraq Business Initiative to re-energize U.S. investment in Iraq. Schweitzer is a member of U.S. Afghan Women’s Council, the Advisory Board of International Programs-University of Kansas, D.C.-Virginia DEC, International Stability Operations Association Advisory Council, Advisory Board Four Star Global Security, Board of Trustees of the Command and General Staff College, and IWIU.
Michelle Quinn
Vice Chair
Michelle is Senior Vice President of Patriot Group International, a mission-focused organization providing security, operational, Logistics, and training solutions for the Department of Defense, Department of State, and other Government Agencies. At PGI, Michelle leads efforts to support critical U.S. missions and programs both CONUS and OCONUS, establishing relationships with the USG and industry partners, building technical solutions for programs, and standing up/executing PGI contracts.
Michelle Quinn
Michelle is Senior Vice President of Patriot Group International, a mission-focused organization providing security, operational, Logistics, and training solutions for the Department of Defense, Department of State, and other Government Agencies. At PGI, Michelle leads efforts to support critical U.S. missions and programs both CONUS and OCONUS, establishing relationships with the USG and industry partners, building technical solutions for programs, and standing up/executing PGI contracts.
Kevin Haggerty
Treasurer
Kevin Haggerty brings over 35 years of experience in financial oversight in the international development, computer software and consulting services industries. Currently, Haggerty is the CFO at ACDI/VOCA with prior experience at Institute of International Education (IIE), DAI and Ernst & Young.
Kevin Haggerty
Kevin Haggerty brings over 35 years of experience in financial oversight in the international development, computer software and consulting services industries. Currently, Haggerty is the CFO at ACDI/VOCA with prior experience at Institute of International Education (IIE), DAI and Ernst & Young.
Evan Dobelle
Secretary
Evan Dobelle is the Managing Director of Countable, a high tech company with offices in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Dobelle is the former President of City College of San Francisco, University of Hawaii, and Trinity College (CT). Dobelle offers a bold vision for the value of education and the challenges of building a community in a fast-changing world.
Evan Dobelle
Evan Dobelle is the Managing Director of Countable, a high tech company with offices in Washington, D.C. and San Francisco. Dobelle is the former President of City College of San Francisco, University of Hawaii, and Trinity College (CT). Dobelle offers a bold vision for the value of education and the challenges of building a community in a fast-changing world.
Elaina Edwards
Elaina Edwards is Vice President at Louis Berger US. She has served in a range of operational, business development, strategy and marketing leadership roles. Her experience includes supporting U.S. government, multilateral institutions and commercial clients with a focus on mega programs. Ms. Edwards has managed winning proposals for more than $3 billion in contracts, including a $1.4 billion single-award contract for Afghanistan reconstruction.
Elaina Edwards
Elaina Edwards is Vice President at Louis Berger US. She has served in a range of operational, business development, strategy and marketing leadership roles. Her experience includes supporting U.S. government, multilateral institutions and commercial clients with a focus on mega programs. Ms. Edwards has managed winning proposals for more than $3 billion in contracts, including a $1.4 billion single-award contract for Afghanistan reconstruction.
Suzanne Kianpour
Suzanne Kianpour is an Emmy nominated journalist who has spent nearly a decade with the BBC reporting on foreign affairs, politics and breaking news. With postings based in Washington, London, Beirut, and Los Angeles, her reporting has taken her around the world to over 50 countries.
Suzanne Kianpour
Suzanne Kianpour is an Emmy nominated journalist who has spent nearly a decade with the BBC reporting on foreign affairs, politics and breaking news. With postings based in Washington, London, Beirut, and Los Angeles, her reporting has taken her around the world to over 50 countries.
Michelle Kosinski
Michelle Kosinski is CNN’s senior diplomatic correspondent responsible for covering the State Department. Previously, Kosinski served as the network’s White House correspondent during the Obama administration. She contributes to all CNN programs and platforms.
Michelle Kosinski
Michelle Kosinski is CNN’s senior diplomatic correspondent responsible for covering the State Department. Previously, Kosinski served as the network’s White House correspondent during the Obama administration. She contributes to all CNN programs and platforms.
Ronald Neumann Headshot
Amb. Ronald E. Neumann

Formerly a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Ronald E. Neumann served three times as Ambassador; to Algeria, Bahrain and finally to Afghanistan from July 2005 to April 2007. Before Afghanistan, Mr. Neumann, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served in Baghdad from February 2004 with the Coalition Provisional Authority and then as Embassy Baghdad’s liaison with the Multinational Command, where he was deeply involved in coordinating the political part of military actions. ​ Prior to working in Iraq, he was Ambassador in Manama, Bahrain (2001-2004), Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near East Affairs (1997-2000) with responsibility for North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Ambassador to Algeria (1994 to 1997). He was Director of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs (Iran and Iraq; 1991 to 1994). Earlier in his career, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and in Sanaa in Yemen, Principal Officer in Tabriz, Iran and Economic/Commercial Officer in Dakar, Senegal. His previous Washington assignments include service as Jordan Desk officer, Staff Assistant in the Middle East (NEA) Bureau, and Political Officer in the Office of Southern European Affairs. Ambassador Neumann is the author of a memoir, Three Embassies, Four Wars: a personal memoir (2017) and The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan (Potomac Press, 2009), a book on his time in Afghanistan. He has returned to Afghanistan repeatedly and is the author of a number of monographs, articles, and editorials. His writings have focused most heavily on Afghanistan, stabilization, and Bahrain. At the Academy he has focused particularly on efforts to maintain adequate State and USAID budgets and staffing and upgrade professional formation to enable these institutions to carry out their responsibilities. Ambassador Neumann is on the Advisory Board of a non-profit girls’ school in Afghanistan, the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) and the Advisory Board of Spirit of America. He is on the board of the Middle East Policy Council and the Advisory Council of the World Affairs Councils of America. Ambassador Neumann speaks some Arabic and Dari as well as French. He received State Department Superior Honor Awards in 1993 and 1990. He was an Army infantry officer in Viet Nam and holds a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal and Combat Infantry Badge. In Baghdad, he was awarded the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. In 2018, he received the American Foreign Service Association’s award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy. He earned a B.A. in history and an M.A. in political science from the University of California at Riverside and is a graduate of the National War College. He is married to the former M. Elaine Grimm. They have two children.

Amb. Ronald E. Neumann
Formerly a Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Ronald E. Neumann served three times as Ambassador; to Algeria, Bahrain and finally to Afghanistan from July 2005 to April 2007. Before Afghanistan, Mr. Neumann, a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, served in Baghdad from February 2004 with the Coalition Provisional Authority and then as Embassy Baghdad’s liaison with the Multinational Command, where he was deeply involved in coordinating the political part of military actions. ​ Prior to working in Iraq, he was Ambassador in Manama, Bahrain (2001-2004), Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Near East Affairs (1997-2000) with responsibility for North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, and Ambassador to Algeria (1994 to 1997). He was Director of the Office of Northern Gulf Affairs (Iran and Iraq; 1991 to 1994). Earlier in his career, he was Deputy Chief of Mission in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and in Sanaa in Yemen, Principal Officer in Tabriz, Iran and Economic/Commercial Officer in Dakar, Senegal. His previous Washington assignments include service as Jordan Desk officer, Staff Assistant in the Middle East (NEA) Bureau, and Political Officer in the Office of Southern European Affairs. Ambassador Neumann is the author of a memoir, Three Embassies, Four Wars: a personal memoir (2017) and The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan (Potomac Press, 2009), a book on his time in Afghanistan. He has returned to Afghanistan repeatedly and is the author of a number of monographs, articles, and editorials. His writings have focused most heavily on Afghanistan, stabilization, and Bahrain. At the Academy he has focused particularly on efforts to maintain adequate State and USAID budgets and staffing and upgrade professional formation to enable these institutions to carry out their responsibilities. Ambassador Neumann is on the Advisory Board of a non-profit girls’ school in Afghanistan, the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA) and the Advisory Board of Spirit of America. He is on the board of the Middle East Policy Council and the Advisory Council of the World Affairs Councils of America. Ambassador Neumann speaks some Arabic and Dari as well as French. He received State Department Superior Honor Awards in 1993 and 1990. He was an Army infantry officer in Viet Nam and holds a Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal and Combat Infantry Badge. In Baghdad, he was awarded the Army Outstanding Civilian Service Medal. In 2018, he received the American Foreign Service Association’s award for Lifetime Contributions to American Diplomacy. He earned a B.A. in history and an M.A. in political science from the University of California at Riverside and is a graduate of the National War College. He is married to the former M. Elaine Grimm. They have two children.
Sarah Peck
Sarah Peck is a career diplomat from Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently the Executive Director of the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council. Sarah has extensive experience on regional issues. She previously served as the Political Team Lead at the Office of Pakistan Affairs at the U.S. State Department. Prior to joining the desk, she worked as a Pearson Fellow for in-coming Secretary of State Kerry at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where she focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Sarah Peck
Sarah Peck is a career diplomat from Boston, Massachusetts. She is currently the Executive Director of the U.S.-Pakistan Women’s Council. Sarah has extensive experience on regional issues. She previously served as the Political Team Lead at the Office of Pakistan Affairs at the U.S. State Department. Prior to joining the desk, she worked as a Pearson Fellow for in-coming Secretary of State Kerry at the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, where she focused on Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Annie Pforzheimer

A retired career diplomat from the U.S. Department of State, Annie is a Senior Non-Resident Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, an Adjunct Professor at the City University of New York and Pace University, and a public commentator on foreign policy. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and active on non-profit boards, currently serving as Board Chair for Women for Afghan Women, a social service agency in the US and Afghanistan.   Ms. Pforzheimer is an advocate for women’s rights in Afghanistan and the author of numerous articles and op-eds on Afghanistan policy, as well as the co-author of studies and articles on issues relating to international organized crime.   Her thirty-year diplomatic career focused on security, rule of law, and human rights policy. She was the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Afghanistan and Deputy Chief of Mission in Kabul; Office Director for UN Peacekeeping and Sanctions; head of the $700 million security assistance program in Mexico; the lead human rights officer in Turkey and South Africa; and a Director at the National Security Council implementing policy on Central American migration. Ms. Pforzheimer is a graduate of Harvard University, with a Masters in National Security Studies from the National Defense University.

Annie Pforzheimer
A retired career diplomat from the U.S. Department of State, Annie is a Senior Non-Resident Associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, an Adjunct Professor at the City University of New York and Pace University, and a public commentator on foreign policy. She is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and active on non-profit boards, currently serving as Board Chair for Women for Afghan Women, a social service agency in the US and Afghanistan.   Ms. Pforzheimer is an advocate for women’s rights in Afghanistan and the author of numerous articles and op-eds on Afghanistan policy, as well as the co-author of studies and articles on issues relating to international organized crime.   Her thirty-year diplomatic career focused on security, rule of law, and human rights policy. She was the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Afghanistan and Deputy Chief of Mission in Kabul; Office Director for UN Peacekeeping and Sanctions; head of the $700 million security assistance program in Mexico; the lead human rights officer in Turkey and South Africa; and a Director at the National Security Council implementing policy on Central American migration. Ms. Pforzheimer is a graduate of Harvard University, with a Masters in National Security Studies from the National Defense University.
Amb. Robin Raphel
Robin Raphel worked for nearly 40 years in foreign affairs agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, and U.S. Department of Defense. She has served as 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.
Amb. Robin Raphel
Robin Raphel worked for nearly 40 years in foreign affairs agencies, including the U.S. Department of State, U.S. Agency for International Development, and U.S. Department of Defense. She has served as 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.
Dr. Nilofar Sakhi
Dr. Nilofar Sakhi is a Professorial Lecturer of International Affairs at the Elliott School of George Washington University. Additionally, she holds the position of Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. She has also taught at George Mason University. She taught classes on Research Methods, Security, Public Policy Making, Contentious Politics, Conflict Analysis & Resolution, Conflict Assessment and Evaluation. Dr. Sakhi is a distinguished scholar and policy analysts, with a thematic focus on security, armed conflict, geopolitics, and peacemaking. She has contributed extensively to the literature on traditional, nontraditional, transnational security, and human security. Her recent publication is a book titled “Human Security and Agency: Reframing Productive Power.” During her career, she has held various significant roles. Notably, Dr. Sakhi served as a Course Coordinator and Instructor at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute through a contract with McColm & Company, where she also served as the Director of Policy and Diplomacy. She also worked as a Country Director at the Open Society Foundation and held the positions of Executive Director and Trustee at the American University of Afghanistan. Dr. Sakhi has been actively engaged in assisting in the formulation of policies related to peace, development and counterinsurgency. She has a rich research background, having been a visiting Research Fellow at the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies, Keough School of Global Affairs at Notre Dame University, the National Endowment of Democracy, and Columbia University. Additionally, she has been a Fellow at the Asia Society and the International Center for Tolerance Education. Nilofar Sakhi holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution from George Mason University. She has a master’s degree in international public policy from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, as well as a second master’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University.
Dr. Nilofar Sakhi
Dr. Nilofar Sakhi is a Professorial Lecturer of International Affairs at the Elliott School of George Washington University. Additionally, she holds the position of Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council. She has also taught at George Mason University. She taught classes on Research Methods, Security, Public Policy Making, Contentious Politics, Conflict Analysis & Resolution, Conflict Assessment and Evaluation. Dr. Sakhi is a distinguished scholar and policy analysts, with a thematic focus on security, armed conflict, geopolitics, and peacemaking. She has contributed extensively to the literature on traditional, nontraditional, transnational security, and human security. Her recent publication is a book titled “Human Security and Agency: Reframing Productive Power.” During her career, she has held various significant roles. Notably, Dr. Sakhi served as a Course Coordinator and Instructor at the U.S. Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute through a contract with McColm & Company, where she also served as the Director of Policy and Diplomacy. She also worked as a Country Director at the Open Society Foundation and held the positions of Executive Director and Trustee at the American University of Afghanistan. Dr. Sakhi has been actively engaged in assisting in the formulation of policies related to peace, development and counterinsurgency. She has a rich research background, having been a visiting Research Fellow at the Kroc Institute of International Peace Studies, Keough School of Global Affairs at Notre Dame University, the National Endowment of Democracy, and Columbia University. Additionally, she has been a Fellow at the Asia Society and the International Center for Tolerance Education. Nilofar Sakhi holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution from George Mason University. She has a master’s degree in international public policy from the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University, as well as a second master’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University.
Karolyn Stuver

Karolyn Stuver is Executive Director and Global Lead for Internal Communications and the Office of Inclusion at Flour Corporation. She previously led all communications, marketing, strategic planning and proposals for Fluor’s Mission Solutions business. Prior to her position at Flour, Stuver served as the Director of Strategy, Marketing and Communications at KBR.

Karolyn Stuver
Karolyn Stuver is Executive Director and Global Lead for Internal Communications and the Office of Inclusion at Flour Corporation. She previously led all communications, marketing, strategic planning and proposals for Fluor’s Mission Solutions business. Prior to her position at Flour, Stuver served as the Director of Strategy, Marketing and Communications at KBR.