Wadah Khanfar


Wadah Khanfar is the president of the Sharq Forum, an independent think tank dedicated to developing long-term strategies for political development, social justice and economic prosperity of the people of the Middle East. He is a Board member of the Global Editors Network. He previously served as the director general of the Al Jazeera Network.

He has been ranked by Foreign Policy Magazine in 2011 as the first in ‘The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers’, and in Fast Company as the first in the ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’ (2011) and as one of the most ‘Powerful People in the World’ by Forbes Magazine (2009). During his tenure with Al Jazeera, the outlet went from a single channel to a media network with multiple properties including the Al Jazeera Arabic channel, Al Jazeera English, Al Jazeera Documentary, Al Jazeera Sport, Al Jazeera’s news websites, the Al Jazeera Media Training and Development Center, the Al Jazeera Center for Studies, Al Jazeera Mubasher (Live), and Al Jazeera Mobile. On 20 Sep 2011, he stepped down as the head of Al Jazeera Network.

Mr Khanfar was born in the Palestinian town of Jenin in 1968. He obtained a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering between 1985 and 1990 at the University of Jordan and went on to complete a post-graduate degree in Philosophy, a Diploma in African Studies from Sudan International University and an Honors Degree in International Politics. During this time, Khanfar started a student’s union that soon spread to several other universities and started an inter-university dialogue group amongst students constituted from a range of political backgrounds. By 1989 the student’s union was playing an active role in debating the future of the democratic process.