Lieutenant Colonel Robin Fontes, former commander of the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan, presented a public lecture at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs entitled, “Provincial Reconstruction Teams: Extending Afghan Government Influence Beyond Kabul” on Monday, October 16, 2006 in 016 Robertson Hall on the Princeton University campus. This lecture was co-sponsored by the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination and the Department and Near Eastern Studies.
Fontes was commissioned in the US Army in 1986 as a Military Police Officer and served as platoon leader in Berlin, Germany and company commander in West Point, New York and in Korea. In 1993, Fontes was selected for the Foreign Area Officer program, learning Russian and earning a Masters of Arts Degree in International Studies from the University of Washington. From 1997-1998, Fontes served on the Military Liaison Team in Minsk, organizing military information exchanges between the US Armed Forces and the Belarussian military. She has also served as the Military Representative and later Defense and Army Attache to Tajikistan. After 9/11 Fontes was assigned as a political-military affairs officer at US Central Command working on issues related Central Asia and Afghanistan. She served as Chief of the Political-Military Affairs Section in Combined Forces Command Kabul, Afghanistan and then commanded the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Tarin Kowt, Uruzgan Province, Afghanistan until May 2006. At the time of the talk, Fontes was a student at the National War College in Washington, DC.