James W. D. Frasché


Jim’s first trip to the Middle East in 1971 began as a lark, and ended up lasting 5 years. From 1971 to 1975, he drove eleven times in a truck from Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan to Germany and Denmark, trading in carpets heading West, and in German appliances and power tools when heading East. Between trips, he worked for the US Information Agency and RCA Globcom Systems as an English teacher and curriculum writer in Teheran, the University of Pennsylvania Museum as an archaeological expedition photographer in Iranian Azerbaijan, and as a tour guide for the Hotel Intercontinental in Kabul. After returning to the US to get a Masters’ degree in international business management from Thunderbird, he worked at the Denver Research Institute at the University of Denver as a contractor to USAID in Turkey, Egypt, Pakistan, and India.

After visiting Afghanistan for the first time in 1972, Jim always harbored dreams of returning to run a successful business which would also have a real impact on the quality of life of the Afghan people. He followed that dream in April, 2003, returned to Afghanistan, and founded and operated the bottling company Afghanistan Natural Beverages in Kabul to provide safe drinking water to local markets, high security military accounts, and to the international community. At the same time, he was Deputy Director of The International Foundation of Hope, an American NGO engaged in opium poppy crop substitution programs with extensive tree nursery operations in Jalalabad which continues to provide millions of fruit, nut, and woodlot trees per year to Afghan farmers. He returned to Denver in December, 2007, after his landlord was kidnapped and his presence in Kabul posed too great a security risk to his employees and business partners.

Jim is Chief Operating Officer of Shelter Homes, a Denver manufacturer of emergency and transitional housing structures for the international disaster relief community. He has two food projects under development in Kabul, consults to government and private sector organizations on Afghanistan policy and business development, and teaches a course on Afghanistan at the University of Denver. His white papers have been posted by the Denver Council on Foreign Relations and other blogs. He is a frequently invited speaker at public and private venues in Denver.

Jim holds a BA in Anthropology from Colorado State University, an MIM from the American Graduate School of International Management.