Khalid Tinasti ’06 & G’07

Major in International Affairs, MA in Global Communications

Khalid Tinasti is Director of the Global Commission on Drug Policy. He is a visiting fellow at the Global Studies Institute at the University of Geneva and the International Center on Drug Policy Studies at the University of Shanghai. He has also worked as an independent consultant for UNAIDS and the World Health Organization.

What were your main takeaways from your time at AUP?

At AUP, I learned the value of research and of implementing policy based on evidence. Professors such as Waddick Doyle, Hall Gardner and Douglas Yates invested time and effort into their teaching – that was the best gift. My time at the University taught me that, whatever our differences, we do not have to apologize for existing. It also taught me to face challenges head on. When I arrived in Paris at a young age, in a new cultural context and grappling with a new teaching system and a new language (English), it could have been a recipe for disaster – but AUP’s inclusive environment supported and empowered me.

What advice would you offer AUP students entering your field?

Two things were pivotal to my path after AUP: empowerment and coherence. You need to believe in your own capacity to do better. Reach for what you consider to be the stars. Invest time in empowering yourself through education and practice. It’s also important to have a coherent path. This doesn’t mean staying locked into one career, but rather being true to yourself and sticking to a long-term vision. I learned those lessons the hard way, so I’m happy to pass them on now.

What, in your view, is the most important global challenge today?

Global health is becoming increasingly vulnerable, and our multilateral systems are under-equipped to deal with the challenges of the near future. Multilateral cooperation is also decreasing, which is a danger for human rights and humanity’s common future. There is hope, however – a new generation is up and coming, one that knows how to stand up for its rights and has the force and capacity to organize quickly and efficiently. I am fascinated to see what they do next.