Ashraf Ghani

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Updated On January 10, 2022
Logar, Afghanistan
Birth Sign
Logar, Afghanistan

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is the current President of Afghanistan and an Afghan academic and politician. He is a trained anthropologist who has lectured on the subject at Columbia University and Johns Hopkins University. Ghani served as an adviser to the UN Secretary-Special General’s Envoy to Afghanistan and temporary President Hamid Karzai before campaigning for president. He was involved in the development of the Bonn Agreement as well as the implementation of a new Afghan currency during his time. Ashraf Ghani also worked at the World Bank, where he learned about international development methods. He was Afghanistan’s Finance Minister for two years in a row, and he was instrumental in the country’s economic recovery following the Taliban government’s fall. He finished fourth in the 2009 presidential election; as a result, in the 2014 election, he received 55.27 percent of the vote and was elected President of Afghanistan. Ghani is a member of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor and co-founder of the Institute for State Effectiveness. He was named second among the world’s top 100 thinkers by the journals ‘Foreign Policy’ and ‘Prospect’ in 2013.

Childhood and Adolescence

On February 12, 1949, Dr. Ashraf Ghani was born in Afghanistan to a rich Pashtun family. He was born and raised in the province of Logar. Ghani attended Kabul’s Habibia High School for his basic and secondary studies.
He graduated from the American University of Beirut with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology in 1973.
In 1974, he returned to Kabul University to teach Afghan studies and anthropology.

He left Afghanistan in 1977 after earning a government scholarship to pursue a Master’s degree in Anthropology at Columbia University in New York.
Ghani received his Ph.D. in state-building and social transformation from the University of California, Berkeley, and began teaching there in 1983.

In 1977, he joined the faculty of Aarhus University in Denmark, and from 1983 to 1991, he taught at Johns Hopkins University. He worked as a pundit for the BBC Dari and Pashto services in Afghanistan at this time.

Career of Ashraf Ghani

Dr. Ghani became the World Bank’s lead anthropological in 1991. He worked for the bank for 11 years and was instrumental in developing the bank’s social policy and reform efforts.
He attended the Harvard-INSEAD and Stanford business school leadership training programs while working for the World Bank.

Ghani was asked to serve as Special Adviser to Ambassador Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to Afghanistan, when the Taliban were deposed in late 2001.
On a pro gratis basis, Ghani joined Interim President Hamid Karzai as Chief Advisor on February 1, 2002.
Ghani took office as Afghanistan’s Finance Minister on June 2, 2002. During his tenure, he developed the National Solidarity Program, which provides block funds to villages.

He became the chancellor of Kabul University on December 22, 2004. Ghani promoted his concept of shared governance among the faculty for the next four years.

In 2005, Ghani delivered keynote addresses at events such as the American Bar Association’s International Rule of Law Symposium, the annual meeting of the Norwegian Government’s development staff, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ meeting on UN reform, and the UN-OECD-World Bank meeting on Fragile States.

He registered as a contender for the 2009 Afghan presidential election on May 7, 2009. His campaign emphasized poverty eradication, citizen employment possibilities, and a thriving economy.
He received only 3% of the vote and finished in fourth place.

Ghani offered his support for Afghanistan’s rehabilitation during the International Conference on Afghanistan in London on January 28, 2010.
Ghani has chosen Uzbek politician General Abdul Rashid Dostum and Justice Minister Sarwar Danish from Karzai’s cabinet as vice presidential candidates for the 2014 elections.

The two front-runners, Ashraf Ghani and Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, faced off in a run-off election on June 14, 2014.
Due to suspicions of electoral fraud, the election was declared a deadlock, and a three-month audit was conducted.
Following the audit results, Ghani was declared president by the Independent Election Commission on September 22, 2014, with 55.4 percent of the popular vote.
Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan on September 29, 2014.

Achievements of Ashraf Ghani

Ghani played a crucial role in creating a new currency, institutionalizing the treasury count, centralizing revenue, and modernizing the tariff system during his time as the country’s Finance Minister. His reform ideas centered on eradicating poverty and establishing citizenship rights.

He co-founded the Institute for State Effectiveness with Clare Lockhart after leaving Kabul University.
Ashraf Ghani received the Sayed Jamal-ud-Din Afghan medal, Afghanistan’s highest civilian honor, in recognition of his services. In 2003, he was named Asia’s Best Finance Minister by ‘Emerging Markets.’

Personal History and Legacy

At the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, Ashraf Ghani met his wife Rula Saade, a Lebanese Christian, and they married in the 1970s.
The pair was granted US citizenship, but Ghani eventually renounced it after joining the Afghan government.
Mariam, a visual artist in Brooklyn, and Tariq, their son, are their children. Both are citizens of the United States.

Estimated Net Worth

Ashraf Ghani estimated net worth is $ USD 10 Million.


Ashraf Ghani openly thanked his wife’s support and addressed her with an Afghan name, ‘Bibi Gul,’ during his 2014 Presidential inauguration. This is seen as a remarkable move by an Afghan politician.