Afghan politician, was elected interim president in a landslide during June's loya jirga, or grand council, of 1,500 delegates. He'll serve until general elections in 2004. He promptly assembled a cabinet, selecting representatives from Afghanistan's many ethnic groups. Karzai's enormous popularity in the West led to the infusion of both financial assistance and troops to the war-ravaged country. However, his grasp on power within the country remains somewhat tenuous, with warlords maintaining tight regional control. He narrowly averted an assassination attempt in September.