Thomas West serves as the State Department’s Special Representative and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Afghanistan. In prior roles in government, he served as Special Advisor to the Vice President for South Asia and Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the National Security Council from 2012-2015. From 2011-2012, Tom was the State Department’s senior diplomat in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, where he embedded with U.S. military colleagues and managed the civilian staff of a Provincial Reconstruction Team. From 2008-10, Tom served as Special Assistant for South and Central Asia to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, focusing on growing the U.S.-India strategic partnership. Early in his career, Tom was a political officer at U.S. Embassy Islamabad and Pakistan desk officer in Washington. Before rejoining government in January 2021, Tom was a Vice President at The Cohen Group, a global strategic advisory firm, and a non-resident scholar at The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A native of State College, Pennsylvania, Tom earned an M.A. in International Relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in International Studies from Johns Hopkins University.