Afzal Ashraf is a Consultant Fellow leading RUSI's course in International Diplomacy. He is responsible for course design, delivery and assessment.
Afzal came to RUSI following a diverse career spanning defence, national security, diplomacy, rule of law and delivery of training and education.
After a start in combat aircraft research and development in UK industry, he was commissioned as an engineer officer in the Royal Air Force (RAF), retiring three decades later as a group captain. His tours of duty included counter-insurgency and policing-focused operational tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and a position in the Foreign Office, where he was responsible for political and military policy as well as security sector reform in Iraq.
While completing a PhD in terrorist ideology at the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (CSTPV) at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, he became chairman of the Board of Advisors for CSTPV at a time when he was simultaneously head of training management for the RAF. He undertook an assignment as a senior advisor and analyst at a UK Government Counter-Terrorism Centre.
After retiring from the RAF he has been a business change and business development consultant to Government and industrial clients, with a focus on developing technology and cyber security-related organisations.