Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai ( born 19 May 1949) is the current President of Afghanistan, elected on 21 September 2014. An anthropologist by education, he previously served as finance minister and the chancellor of Kabul University.Before returning to Afghanistan in 2002, President Ghani worked with the World Bank. As the Finance Minister of Afghanistan between July 2002 and December 2004, he led Afghanistan’s attempted economic recovery after the collapse of the Taliban government.He is the co-founder of the Institute for State Effectiveness, an organization set up in 2005 to improve the ability of states to serve their citizens. In 2005 he gave a TED talk, in which he discussed how to rebuild a broken state such as Afghanistan. President Ghani is a member of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, an independent initiative hosted by the United Nations Development Programme. In 2013 he was ranked 50th in an online poll to name the world’s top 100 intellectuals conducted by Foreign Policy magazine and second in a similar poll run by Prospect magazine, ranking just behind Richard Dawkins.Ghani came in fourth in the 2009 presidential election, behind Hamid Karzai, Abdullah Abdullah, and Ramazan Bashardost. In the first round of the 2014 presidential election, Ghani won 31.5% of the vote, second to Abdullah who secured 45% of the votes cast. Both candidates went on to contest a run-off election, which was held on 14 June 2014 with Ghani winning 55.27% of the votes with a lead of a million votes over Abdullah.
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