Ghani was born to an Ahmadzai Pashtun family. He attended high school in Kabul and then traveled to Lebanon, where he graduated (1973) from the American University of Beirut. From 1974 to 1977 Ghani taught anthropology at Kabul University. He left Afghanistan again in 1977 to study anthropology in the United States; a communist coup in 1978 prevented him from returning home. After Ghani earned (1983) a Ph.D. in anthropology from Columbia University, New York City, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley (1983), and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Md. (1983–91). He joined the World Bank in 1991 and spent the following decade focusing on the design and reform of state institutions in less-developed countries.
After the downfall of the Taliban regime in 2001, Ghani returned to Afghanistan and served as an adviser to Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN secretary-general’s special envoy to Afghanistan. In that capacity Ghani was closely involved with the formulation of the Bonn Agreement, which outlined the transition to an elected government. He also served as an adviser to interim president Karzai and as minister of finance (2002–04), overseeing the successful introduction of a new Afghan currency.
Mr. Ghani held a position of Finance Minister and Chancellor of the Kabul University. After Mr. Ghani was declared winner of the 2014 presidential election with 55.27% of total votes, he was sworn in as president on September 29th, 2014.