Professor Thomas Barfield is a social anthropologist who conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork among pastoral nomads in pre- war northern Afghanistan during the mid-1970s. He later taught at Wellesley, Harvard and Boston universities and is the author of several books on Afghanistan, Central Asia, China and anthropology. Since 2001 his research has focused on economic and political development in Afghanistan, particularly on law, government organisation and development issues. In 2006, he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete Afghanistan: A cultural and political history (Princeton University Press, 2010). He has been President of the American Institute for Afghanistan Studies since 2005.