RUSI is pleased to welcome Mark Ward, Director of START, to discuss the challenges the US, the UK and other partners have faced since the start of the civil war in Syria. He will also describe stabilisation planning for areas liberated from ISIL’s control as well as highlight longer term challenges.
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Mark S Ward is the Director of the Syria Transition Assistance and Response Team (START), which is based out of U.S. Embassy Ankara and is responsible for coordinating all U.S. assistance to Syria from Turkey. Prior to this role, he served as the Deputy Special Coordinator in the Office of Middle East Transition at the U.S. Department of State, the office that coordinates all civilian assistance to Middle Eastern countries in transition to democracy. Mr Ward is a Career Minister in the Senior Foreign Service of the United States. Mr Ward was also on detail to the United Nations Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) from September 2011 to February 2012 as Senior Advisor to the head of the UNSMIL on coordination with the international community. From July 2010 to September 2011, Mr Ward was Deputy Assistant Administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) and Acting Director of the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Before returning to Washington DC, Mr Ward was the Special Advisor on Development to the head of the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), based in Kabul, from October 2008 until July 2010.