November 12, 2018

The Ritz Carlton
Arlington, VA

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



Farah Pandith is a diplomatic entrepreneur, foreign policy strategist and author.  She serves as an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a senior fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Together with the London-based Institute for Strategic Dialogue, she is re-imagining the power of communities, private sector and government to defeat the extremist threat. A world-leading expert and pioneer on how to halt extremist recruitment of Muslim youth, she believes we can win the war on terror, “but only if we have the courage to rethink, reinvent, reimagine”. Her book How We Win will be released in early 2018 (HarperCollins).

During a career spanning over two decades, she has served in the public and private sector. She served as a political appointee in the George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush, and Barack H. Obama administrations at the National Security Council, US Agency for International Development and US Department of State. Most recently, she was appointed the first-ever Special Representative to Muslim Communities, serving under Secretary of State Clinton and Secretary Kerry. In this role, she traveled to nearly 100 countries and launched global youth-focused initiatives and networks to counter violent extremism. Prior to re-entering government in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Ms. Pandith was Vice President of International Business at ML Strategies, LLC in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Ms. Pandith is a frequent media commentator and public speaker. She was appointed to the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory Council (2015-2017), where she also served as co-chair of its CVE Task Force. She was a Commissioner and Senior Advisor to the Center for Strategic International Studies’ CVE Commission, which produced the report Turning Point.  Ms. Pandith received a master’s degree from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and an A.B. from Smith College, where she was president of the student body. She is currently a member of the Board of Overseers of The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Ms. Pandith was born in India and raised in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To learn more please visit and @Farah_Pandith.