The Kabul Carpet Export Center brings together the diverse talents of many people who have been working in or for Afghanistan to expand carpet exports and create jobs in the country. The KCEC was developed by carpet industry veterans Rob Leahy, Richard Ringrose, Alex Zahir and Stephen Landrigan working together as Impact Carpet Associates LLC, headquartered in Charleston, SC, USA.

From Left: ICA's Steve Landrigan, Alex ZahIr , Rob Leahy and Richard Ringrose at the 2018 New York Rug Show.

Stephen Landrigan has many years of experience working with USAID funded projects in Afghanistan and in other countries. He is also an accomplished writer of plans and reports on carpets, wool and cashmere. Steve is Communications Director for KCEC.

Alex Zahir was born into the Afghan carpet business as his family, like many in Afghanistan, weaved carpets in their home. He has been a subject matter expert to the US Department of Commerce since 2010. Alex is Production Director for KCEC and works with the carpet manufacturers across Afghanistan.

Rob Leahy has been in the carpet and rug business since 1971 and traveling to Afghanistan since 2007 to study and assist in the capacity building projects in the carpet trade for US Government agencies. Rob is the Project Director of the Kabul Carpet Export Center.

Richard Ringrose has a long legacy in the carpet business having been a Vice President of ABC Carpet and Home in New York CIty . He was a key member of the US Department of Defense TFBSO focused on the carpet business in Afghanistan. Richard is the Marketing Director of the KCEC.

The KCEC Kabul Team


Assad Mattin is the founder and chairman of The Oxus Group, LLC and a member of the Board of Directors of the Afghan American Chamber of Commerce. He previously served as the chief of staff to the president of Afghanistan, Director of Communications of the Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

John Mattin is President of the Oxus Group. John has an extensive background and experience in government contract implementation, capacity building and training.

Najlla Habibyar is the Chief of Party for the Kabul Carpet Export Center. Her role encompasses all aspects of the KCEC and is the Chief Executive in Afghanistan. Najlla has held senior positions with USAID and was the CEO of the Export Promotion Agency of Afghanistan.

Khalid Tayeb is the Deputy Chief of Party.