LISD hosted a lunch seminar, "The 'New Afghan Strategy': Civil-Military Affairs" on Friday, October 16, 2009 at 12:00 p.m. in 012 Bendheim Hall. Ciara Knudsen (MPA '05) was the featured speaker. Knudsen had recently returned from Afghanistan where she served as the Executive Officer for the U.S. government's Integrated Civil-Military Action Group (ICMAG) at the American Embassy, Kabul. ICMAG is a joint civiliam-military staff tasked with developing an integrated U.S. government campaign plan for Afghanistan.
Leading up to the standup of the ICMAG in 2007 and 2008, Knudsen worked with provincial teams throughout Afghanistan to unify the U.S. government effort in the field. From 2004-2005, Knudsen was the Afghanistan Program Manager at LISD and led a Princeton team from the Project on Failed States to conduct fieldwork on U.S. assistance in Liberia. Knudsen served in East Timor from 2000-2002 as a Social Services Advisor to the Secretary of State for Labor and Solidarity - under the United Nations’ East Timor Transitional Administration - and earlier, for IRC and UNICEF. While there, she managed the development of the Department of Social Services and programs for vulnerable persons and veterans for the new government. Prior to this, she worked on African Regional Peacekeeping for the International Peace Academy in New York, worked in Northern Ireland as a human rights monitor (1999 and 2000), and worked in Cambodia as an International Electoral Observer (1998).
Knudsen received her MPA from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and a BA in Development Studies from Brown University and the University of Zimbabwe. She speaks French, Tetun, basic Shona, and reads Arabic.