ANU opens up a world of opportunity

31 December 2014

At ANU I have the privilege of working with scholars and experts to share ideas and get their feedback

Studying a PhD at ANU has opened up a world of opportunity for Dr Nematullah Bizhan, who has received a prestigious postdoctoral joint fellowship offered by Princeton University and Oxford University.

Dr Bizhan is from Afghanistan and he came to the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at ANU as part of an Australian government Leadership Fellowship. He graduated in July.

His PhD explored the impact of foreign aid on state building and in particular studied the case of Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban.

“Studying at ANU I was not only focused on my research. I attended conferences and learnt from policy makers, some at ministerial levels, from developing countries and different parts of the world which is very rewarding,” he said.

“At ANU I have the privilege of working with scholars and experts to exchange ideas and get their feedback.”

When he wasn’t studying Dr Bizhan enjoyed student life and helped to establish an Afghan Student Association at ANU.

Since completing his PhD, Dr Bizhan has been a visiting scholar at the Crawford School of Public Policy.

In September he started his program at Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy and International Affairs at Princeton University, and in September 2015 he will start his studies at Oxford University.

“I am looking forward to learning from countries which succeeded after conflict to be able to participate and contribute to the development of not only my country but other developing countries,” he said.

Dr Bizhan was born in Afghanistan. He completed his Masters in the United States before returning to Afghanistan, where he worked with the government.

Dr Bizhan worked as the Director General for Policy and Monitoring and Evaluation of Afghanistan National Development Strategy--Poverty Reduction Strategy, and head of the Secretaries for Joint Coordination and Monitoring Board, a high level coordination body between the international community and the Afghan government.