Interview with Ashraf Ghani, Clare Lockhart, and Lin Wells

In 2006, following a series of conversations on transition from conflict, reconstruction, and conflict prevention, a Highlands Forum was held in conjunction with a Strong Angel demonstration in San Diego. At the conclusion of the Forum, we sat down for a conversation with Ashraf Ghani, Clare Lockhart, and Lin Wells to hear what they had to say about state failure and new approaches to state effectiveness. Ghani and Lockhart continue their work today in Afghanistan, Kosovo, and several African nations; Wells has created a program called STAR-TIDES to bring new, cheap and sustainable technologies to developing parts of the world as well as for use in humanitarian emergencies around the world. We present you with a short clip of that conversation.

Dr. Ashraf Ghani was recognized as the best finance minister of Asia in 2003 by Emerging Markets. During his tenure as finance minister of Afghanistan between July 2002 and December 2004, he carried out a series of extensive reforms, including the issue of a new currency in record time, computerization of the operations of treasury, institutionalization of the single treasury account, adoption of a policy of no-deficit financing, introduction of the budget as the central instrument of policy, centralization of revenue, reform of tariff system and overhaul of the customs, and instituting of regular reporting to the cabinet, the people of Afghanistan, and the international stakeholders as a tool of transparency and accountability.

Clare Lockhart is currently Director of the State Effectiveness Program, a program set up to develop toolkits and promote approaches to create effective states that are responsive to their citizens. She served as Adviser to the Government of Afghanistan from 2002-5, with responsibility for design of design of policy processes and national programs. She worked as Adviser to the United Nations for the preparation of the Bonn Agreement and establishment of Government of Afghanistan structures from 2001-2. She has practiced as a barrister in public and commercial law in the United Kingdom and is a Member of the Bar of England and Wales. She holds degrees from Harvard University, where she was a Kennedy Memorial Trust Scholar, Oxford University, and the Inns of Court School of Law.

Dr. Linton Wells II is the Chair of Force Transformation and Distinguished Research Professor in the Center for Technology and National Security Policy at the National Defense University. Until June of 2007, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Networks and Information Integration).