Hamid Karzai, born in Afghanistan in 1957, was the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan and served for two consecutive terms, from 2004 to 2014.

After graduating from Habibya high school in 1976, Mr. Karzai travelled to India and earned the Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Political Science and International Relations from the Himachal Pradesh University, in Shimla.

Mr. Karzai rose through the political ranks during the turbulent Soviet occupation to become president of the country after the fall of the Taliban. Served as the Deputy Foreign minister in the Mujahedeen transitional government and the Director of the Foreign Relations Unit in the Office of the President of the Interim Government. Mr. Karzai began to work actively for the organization of a national Loya Jirga (Grand Council). He believed that only through a Loya Jirga could Afghanistan’s difficulties be overcome. This belief was borne out by the Emergency Loya Jirga of 2002 and Constitutional Loya Jirga in 2003.

On December 5th, 2001, the participants at the UN-sponsored Bonn Conference elected Mr. Karzai as the Chairman of the Interim Administration of Afghanistan. Followed by two presidential elections in 2004 and 2009, in both elections Mr. Karzai won by majority votes.

Mr. Karzai is fluent in several languages including Pashto, Persian, Hindi, French and English. He enjoys riding horses and studying philosophy.

Mr. Karzai has received number of distinguished awards and honors; among them are Honorary Knighthood from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth (2003), Medal of Malik Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace, Disarmament and Development (2005) and many more. Mr. Karzai received honorary Doctor of Law Degree from the Georgetown University, Honorary Doctorate from the Nippon Sports Science University of Japan in June 2012, Honorary Doctorate from the American University of Afghanistan (2015) and Honorary PhD Degree from the Shimla University of India (2002).