Close to six months after Kabul fell to the Taliban, Khalid Payenda, the former Finance Minister under President Ashraf Ghani, is now resorting to being an Uber driver in Washington DC.
The former minister, who has an MBA degree from Preston University and a Master’s in Economics from the University of Illinois, also works as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University which fetches him $2,000 in a semester.
According to a Washington Post article, Payenda is now aiming to complete 50 trips in two weeks to take home a bonus of $95. As fate would have it, Payenda had once overseen a budget of $6 billion and is now content by earning around $150 for driving his Honda Accord on Uber in the US capital.
In an interaction with WaPo, he said this transition from being one of the most powerful persons in the battle-stricken country to a gig worker in the US has also taken a toll on his mind. He said that while he was grateful for being able to support his family, he does not feel at home and is feeling empty.
In the interview, he expressed his disappointment of the democratic regime in Afghanistan falling prey to the hands of the Taliban and the US’s decision to abandon the civilian administration.
The former minister has 18 years of experience in diverse and high-level experience in economic & public policy management, international development, public finance management, governance, and leadership in the public sector, aid effectiveness, and institutional development.
Specialties: Public Administration & Governance, Economic Policy Advice, PFM, Macroeconomic and Fiscal Analysis, Leadership, Management and Economics Training.
Before his role in the Afghani government, Payenda was a senior policy advisor at the Asian Development Bank and had also worked as an economist at The World Bank in the country.