Dr. Massoumeh Torfeh was appointed UNAMA’s Director of Strategic Communication and
Spokespersons Unit in March 2012. Massoumeh is a former senior producer in BBC World
Service (1986-1998 and 2000- 2002) specializing in the politics and media of Afghanistan, Iran
and Central Asia.
In BBC she worked in a variety of departments including two years in the famous BBC World
Service Newsroom. Her PhD in Political Science is from the London School of Economics and Political Science and on “The Causes of Failure of Democracy in Iran”. She worked as a spokesperson and chief public information officer for the UN Mission of Observers in Tajikistan (1998-2000) and as a public information consultant in the office of President Hamid Karzai (2002-2004). She was then appointed as the director of the Tajik Service and the editor of Asia Desk at the Central Newsroom of Radio Free Europe in Prague.
Between 2008 and 2011, based at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies, Massoumeh wrote extensively on the politics and media of Afghanistan and Iran for academic journals and was a regular commentator in the media including the Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, BBC TV and Radio News programs, Aljazeera English, ITV, Sky, and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Massoumeh has just completed several chapters of a book due to be published by IB Taurus in August 2013 on the history of the BBC Persian broadcasts to Iran and Afghanistan. She also has a chapter in a new book "Partners for Stability” published by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin about Iran’s role in Afghanistan.
Massoumeh believes passionately that the media can play a crucial role in post conflict societies in changing attitudes, holding governments to account and giving a voice to people. She believes in strengthening the role of media as a means of nurturing debate and discussion on important issues relating to peace building, reconciliation and civil society building. She has written two papers on the subject, given recommendations to international organizations and recently held an international conference on the subject entitled “Afghanistan, Good Governance and the Media” at London University’s SOAS.