Badr Jafar is a businessman and social entrepreneur from the United Arab Emirates. He is the CEO of Crescent Enterprises, a diversified business operating across various industry sectors in 15 countries, and President of Crescent Petroleum, the first independent and privately-owned petroleum company in the Middle East. He also serves as Chairman of Gulftainer, the largest privately-owned container port and logistics operator in the world, and Chairman of Pearl Petroleum, the largest natural gas producer in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
In addition to his day-to-day business interests, Badr is actively engaged with a diverse range of organisations and initiatives focused on humanitarian aid and international development, corporate governance, entrepreneurship, education and the arts.
He serves in a number of advisory positions in the humanitarian and development sectors, as a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, a member of the UNESCO International Commission on the Futures of Education, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the International Rescue Committee (IRC).
In 2010, Badr founded the Pearl Initiative, a non-profit, private sector-led organisation committed to promoting a corporate culture of transparency and accountability across the Gulf Region of the Middle East, in cooperation with the United Nations Office for Partnerships.
Consistent with his interest in promoting social entrepreneurship in the MENA Region, Badr co-founded the Arab World Social Entrepreneurship Program (ASEP) with Ashoka, and is a member of the Synergos Arab World Social Innovators (AWSI) Board of Governors. He serves on the Board of Advisors of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Centre (Sheraa), MIT Legatum Centre for Development and Entrepreneurship and Gaza Sky Geeks, and is a Board member of Endeavor UAE, a network supporting high-impact entrepreneurship.
Badr is a member of the Advisory Board of the Cambridge Judge Business School, the International Advisory Council of the American University of Beirut, and the Business Advisory Council of the American University of Sharjah. He is the Founding Patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy based at the Cambridge Judge Business School, dedicated to enhancing the impact of strategic philanthropy both within and from the world’s fastest growing economies, and the Gulf Region’s first Strategic Philanthropy Initiative at NYU Abu Dhabi to study and promote high-impact philanthropy. He also serves on the advisory board of the US-based Milken Institute for Strategic Philanthropy.
As an ardent believer in the essential role of the arts in innovation economies, Badr founded the non-profit Middle East Theatre Academy to encourage young people in the Region to express their talents through writing, directing, producing and acting. He also co-founded the Global Gumbo Group with esteemed music producer Quincy Jones to bridge cross-cultural divides through entertainment. He is a member of the Guggenheim Middle Eastern Circle, the Artistic Director’s Circle of The Old Vic Theatre Trust and the Kennedy Center’s Centennial Circle. In 2014, Badr was awarded the Gold Medal in the Arts by the Kennedy Center International Committee on the Arts for his work to bridge cultures through music and theatre. He is also a member of the Middle East Institute’s International Advisory Council, which is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank and cultural center in Washington, D.C., founded in 1946.
Badr has been a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization since 2005, and served as Chair of the YPO Emirates Chapter. He was recognised as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011, is Co-Chair of the WEF Family Business Community, a champion of the WEF EDISON Alliance, and a member of the WEF Stewardship Board on New Economy and Society and the Stewardship Board on Digital Economy and new Value Creation. Badr is also a member of the Advisory Council of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
Badr holds a Master’s Degree in Engineering from the University of Cambridge and a Business Degree from the Cambridge Judge Business School.