Badr Jafar (Arabic: بدر حميد جعفر) is an Emirati business executive and social entrepreneur based in the United Arab Emirates. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Crescent Enterprises, a multinational diversified business with operations in sectors including ports and logistics; power and engineering; aviation; healthcare; private equity and business incubation. He is also the President of its sister company Crescent Petroleum, a privately owned oil and gas company headquartered in the United Arab Emirates. Jafar is Chairman of Pearl Petroleum, a five-member international consortium for the development of natural gas assets in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, and Chair of the Executive Board of Gulftainer, a global ports company.
Badr Jafar is known to advocate high-impact entrepreneurship and corporate governance, having established a number of organisations and initiatives within these fields. He launched the Pearl Initiative in September 2010 at the United Nations, a private sector-led initiative to promote corporate governance, accountability and transparency as a key driver of competitiveness within the Gulf Region of the Middle East. In 2011, Jafar was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum and currently co-chairs the Forum’s Family Business Council. He is also a Trustee of their Global Agenda on Economic Growth and Social Inclusion. Named one of the top 20 most influential Arabs by Arabian Business in 2016, Jafar has received a number of recognitions and awards for his work in business and philanthropy.
Badr Jafar was born and raised in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. He is of Iraqi Shia background. In 1994 he continued his education at Eton College, and graduated in 1999 from Cambridge University with a Masters degree in engineering and additional studies in astrophysics. In 1996, Harvard University awarded Jafar the Harvard Book Award, presented to students who „display excellence in scholarship and high character, combined with achievements in other fields.“ Jafar subsequently attended the Cambridge Judge Business School at the University of Cambridge.
Badr Jafar is currently a member of the International Advisory Board of the Cambridge Judge Business School, and is Chair of its Alumni Advisory Council. He serves on the Advisory Board of the School of Business and Management at the American University of Sharjah.
Badr Jafar is a staunch advocate of the role of social enterprise and impact entrepreneurship in addressing socio-economic challenges across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). In 2014, he launched the Arab World Social Entrepreneurship Program in partnership with Ashoka, a social entrepreneurship organisation to identify and help scale the region’s most promising social businesses.
Jafar is a Founding Board Member of Endeavor UAE, and a member of the Global Board for Education for Employment, a Washington DC-headquartered organisation which works to train and upskill the youth of the MENA region to empower them for employment. In 2015, he joined the Gaza Sky Geeks Board, a start-up movement to transform Gaza’s most talented youth into tech entrepreneurs.
Badr Jafar has launched a series of projects using the arts as a means to empower youth and promote cultural diplomacy. In 2014, the Kennedy Centre honoured Jafar with a Gold Medal in the Arts in recognition of his efforts with cultural diplomacy to build closer ties between nations and regions.
In May 2011, Jafar and music producer Quincy Jones produced a charity single titled Tomorrow/Bokra, featuring 26 Arab artists, to raise funds for educational arts projects for displaced youth in the Middle East. The proceeds went towards the development of arts programs for over 430,000 children in partnership with Save The Children. In February 2011, actor Kevin Spacey and Jafar launched the Middle East Theatre Academy (META), a non-profit theatre academy to provide a platform to nurture young actors, directors, and producers from the Middle East, and help them to showcase their talent internationally.
In May 2015, Badr Jafar was appointed by the United Nations Secretary General onto a High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, formed „to address the increasing gap between resources and financing for the world’s ever-increasing humanitarian needs.“