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Farah Pandith

Farah Pandith

First ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities for the United States Department of State

Business & Management, Government & Politics, Leadership & Motivation

  • Topics: Geopolitics, Islam, Politics, Security, Change, Globalisation, Leadership, Regulation, US
  • Languages: English


  • US and Islam
  • US Politics & Foreign Affairs
  • International Relations
  • International Development
  • Youth-focused initiatives
  • Extremism, Terrorism & Security
  • Women in Public Service
  • Middle East/US Relations

Farah Pandith was appointed the first-ever special representative to Muslim Communities in 2009 by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, serving under both Secretaries Clinton and John Kerry. The Office of the Special Representative was responsible for executing a vision for engagement with Muslims around the world based on a people-to-people and organisational level. Farah travelled to more than eighty countries and launched youth-focused initiatives. She is also the main architect of the Women in Public Service Project. In 2015, Farah was appointed to Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson’s Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC).

Prior to this appointment, Farah was senior advisor to the assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs. This role was created for her in the context of the Danish Cartoon Crisis, and she built new State Department strategies for how U.S. embassies in Europe understood the Muslim demographic, the increase in foreign ideologies present on the ground, and how the U.S. could build resilience.

From 2004-07, Farah served as the director for Middle East Regional Initiatives for the National Security Council. Prior to joining the NSC, Farah was chief of staff of the Bureau for Asia and the Near East for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). In 2004, she spent two months in Afghanistan developing a public outreach strategy. She also served at USAID from 1990–93 on the administrator’s staff and as the special assistant to the director of policy.

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