Sarah Chayes | Former Special Advisor to two successive commanders of international troops in Afghanistan, Former Special Adviser of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Sarah Chayes

Former Special Advisor to two successive commanders of international troops in Afghanistan, Former Special Adviser of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Sarah Chayes

Sarah Chayes is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where her work focuses on the international security implications of acute corruption. To a deep background in Afghanistan, she has added years of research in Arab Spring countries, Uzbekistan, and Nigeria, and others.An unparalleled trajectory brought her to Carnegie. After covering the fall of the Taliban for National Public Radio, she decided to leave her journalism career behind and contribute to the rebuilding of remarkable, devastated Afghanistan. For Chayes, the historic potential for fashioning a new type of relationship between the Muslim world and the West was too unique to pass up. She took up residence in the former Taliban stronghold of Kandahar, where she built two nonprofits. (See: Deeply embedded in the life of the city, fluent in the local Pashtu language, she gained a unique perspective on the unfolding war. Beginning in 2009, she was tapped to serve as special advisor to two successive commanders of international troops, Generals David McKiernan and Stanley McChrystal, and then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen. In that latter job, Chayes functioned in roles that took her from the oak-paneled halls of the Pentagon to plywood combat outposts in Afghanistan, to the mud-walled homes of villagers. She experienced America's longest war from almost every dimension, and contributed to strategic level U.S. policy on Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Arab Spring.Chayes is the author of the forthcoming No Appeal on Earth: How Crime Syndicates Masquerading as Governments Threaten Us All (working title, WW Norton, 2014) and The Punishment of Virtue: Inside Afghanistan After the Taliban (Penguin, 2006). She is a contributing writer for the Los Angeles Times Opinion section, and her articles also appear in Foreign Policy, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other publications.Chayes is a remarkably dynamic and engaging speaker, who draws on her disparate experience to help audiences reflect on such critical topics as how best to balance civilian and military instruments of U.S. power, the lack of overarching civilian policy-making as a framework within which military action might fit, or how democratic governance abroad intersects with international security. She examines the nefarious effects of acute government corruption - an almost unnoticed driver of security threats world-wide - and policy alternatives for grappling with it. For audiences focused on risk analysis and the implications of deploying into highly corrupt countries, she adds new dimensions to the discussion. And for student audiences, her own unorthodox career path serves as an example for imagining a world of possibilities.Chayes has spoken before numerous military audiences both in the U.S. and NATO countries. She has delivered major endowed lectures at such distinguished universities as Bowdoin, Harvard, Middlebury, Princeton, Stanford, Tufts, University of California at Berkeley and Davis, University of Michigan, University of Nebraska, Virginia Commonwealth University, and others.

Sarah Chayes
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Current: Westminster Town Hall Forum

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Sarah Chayes
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Speech Topics from Sarah Chayes

- Arab Awakening
- Democracy and Human Rights
- Economy
- Military
- Peace and Reconciliation
- Political Reform
- Society and Culture

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Sarah Chayes

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