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Cheryl Benard (* 1953 in New Orleans) is a senior analyst with the RAND Corporation, where she is the Co-Director of the Alternative Strategy Institute (ASI): engaged in work related to developing constructive voices in the media, women in greater conflict resolution and reconciliation roles, and positive youth development.

She is a novelist and feminist author on topics including current events, women in nation-building, youth radicalization in the European Diaspora, and secularization pertaining to Islam. Benard received her Ph.D. from the University of Vienna and a B.A. from the American University of Beirut. She is married to Zalmay Khalilzad, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She and Khalilzad have two sons, Alexander and Maximilian.

Benard has an entry in the Internet Movie Database from her work as a child actor in German movies.


  • The Government of God: Iran's Islamic Republic (1984) (with Zalmay Khalilzad) ISBN 0-231-05376-2
  • Wie aus Mädchen tolle Frauen werden. Selbstbewußtsein jenseits aller Klischees (2000) ISBN 3-453-17264-7 (translation:
  • Moghul Buffet (2000) ISBN 1-56947-179-7
  • Turning on the Girls (2002) ISBN 0-7434-4291-1
  • L'Inconnue de Peshawar (2002) ISBN 2-264-03224-3
  • Einsame Cowboys. Jungen in der Pubertät (2002) ISBN 3-423-36295-2 (translation: Lonely Cowboys: boys in puberty
  • Veiled Courage: Inside the Afghan Women's Resistance (2002) ISBN 0-7679-1301-9
  • Supermacht Mann: oder das Ende der Vernunft (2004) ISBN 978-3800039982 (translation: Superpower Man: or, the end of reason. This book includes a very harsh attack on the administration of George W. Bush, in whose administration her husband, Zalmay Khalilzad, served as ambassador to Afghanistan and then as US ambassador to the United Nations.)
  • Civil Democratic Islam: Partners, Resources, and Strategies (2004) ISBN 0-8330-3438-3




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