Obama administration names new special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan

A career Foreign Service Officer, Dobbins served in Bosnia, Kosovo and Haiti before representing the United States at the Bonn Conference that established the post-Taliban Afghan government following the U.S. invasion of 2001.

Obama created the position to help coordinate regional policy with the countries, which share a porous border that Islamist militants cross daily. The administration, however, has been criticized for keeping Afghan policy inside the White House, making the State Department-based special representative position largely symbolic.

Kerry said Dobbins's appointment “reaffirms this government’s commitment to the key national security priority of ensuring Afghanistan and Pakistan are secure, stable, and prosperous nations.”