Former Ambassador, Current Scholar, Shirin Tahir-Kheli Joins Carnegie Corporation Board of Trustees

Vartan Gregorian and the Board of Trustees of Carnegie Corporation of New York announce the appointment of Shirin Tahir-Kheli to its board of trustees. She will join the fifteen-person board in overseeing the foundation's grantmaking activities and overall foundation management. Tahir-Kheli is the first of South Asian origin and the first of the Muslim faith to become a member of the board.

“Shirin is a valuable and welcome addition to the foundation's board,” said Vartan Gregorian, president of Carnegie Corporation. “Her guidance on issues of local, national and international scope will greatly enrich our work as we learn from her scholarly perspective and her understanding of a region of the world that is of utmost importance in global security considerations. Her years of service in government will be a strong anchor for us, as we focus on scholarship with a public policy dimension.”

Tahir-Kheli is research professor and fellow, Foreign Policy Institute at The Paul Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Washington, D.C. Her current work is focused on bridging the differences between India and Pakistan and explores the economic, environmental and energy interests shared by these countries to discover areas of collaboration and confidence building. She chairs a working group known as the BALUSA group, comprising senior Indian, Pakistani and U.S. leaders who are supporting a series of projects that could lead to a reduction in tensions in the region; the boldest of the projects involves a natural gas pipeline through Pakistan to India, which would bring large economic benefits to people in both countries. She is also a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and has served as head of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva in 2001.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins University, Tahir-Kheli was named a fellow of Princeton University's Center of International Studies and co-chaired the Council on Foreign Relations Study Group on India and Pakistan.

Earlier, Tahir-Kheli served in the U.S. government for nine years in national security arenas, both within the White House and the United Nations. From 1990 until 1993, she was the Alternate U.S. Representative for Special Political Affairs to the United Nations with the rank of Ambassador. She was also a member of the Presidential Commission on Public Service from 1992-93. Before that, she served on the National Security Council as Director of Near East and South Asian Affairs from 1986-89 and as Director of Political Military Affairs from 1984-86. She joined the Reagan Administration in 1982 as a member of the Policy Planning Staff in the Office of the Secretary of State.

Tahir-Kheli’sdistinguished academic career also included teaching positions at Temple University and the U.S. Army War College. She received her B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University and her M.A. and PhD in International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania. She is the author of numerous monographs and articles including: India, Pakistan and the United States: Breaking with the Past (Council on Foreign Relations Press, 1997) and The United States and Pakistan: The Evolution of An Influential Relationship (Praeger, 1982).

Currently, Tahir-Kheli is a member of the advisory board of Princeton University's Institute for the Transregional Study of Contemporary Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia. She served as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Aga Khan University in Karachi, Pakistan between 1996-1998. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie in 1911 to promote "the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding." As a grantmaking foundation, the Corporation seeks to carry out Carnegie's vision of philanthropy, which he said should aim "to do real and permanent good in the world." The Corporation's capital fund, originally donated at a value of about $135 million, had a market value of $1.7 billion on September 30, 2001. The Corporation awards grants totaling approximately $75 million a year in the areas of education, international peace and security, international development and strengthening U.S. democracy.