SFI Diplomat in Resident Bill Frej, a former United States Agency for International Development (USAID) mission director for Afghanistan, describes the Institute's exploration of the interface between science and national policy in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East in general. 

Watch his video interview (7 minutes)

Frej is organizing a February working group at SFI to explore how data, examined through a complexity lens, might inform U.S. policy makers as they encourage long-term sustainable development in conflict-prone nations such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. He also is planning a subsequent meeting at SFI to examine policy options relating to the exploitation of natural resources in Afghanistan.

“Developing foreign policy is a very complex endeavor, and policy makers need more tools to lend focus to the challenges of sustainable development,” he says. “I think SFI and the academic community can be a positive force in looking at policy problems through a more scientific, evidence-based, responsible lens than in the past.”

The February meeting, “Frontiers of data analysis: Foreign policy as a complex system,” brings together leading scholars and senior-level policy makers and practitioners.

Read a Santa Fe New Mexican interview with Frej (October 1, 2010)

Listen to a public radio interview with Bill Frej (September 25, 2010)

Read a Huffington Post interview that discusses Frej's work (January 7, 2011)