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Badr Jafar

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CEO, Crescent Enterprises

Cambridge affiliations

  • MA Engineering (Churchill 1999)
  • MST, Cambridge Judge Business School (1999)

Professional history

Crescent Group has been operating from the UAE as a family business group for 50 years. The Group today consists of two main companies: Crescent Petroleum, the first independent and privately-owned petroleum company in the Middle East; and Crescent Enterprises, a diversified global conglomerate which operates across four distinctive platforms to develop innovative, sustainable and profitable businesses.

Badr also serves as Chairman of Gulftainer, the largest privately-owned container port operator in the world, and Pearl Petroleum, a partnership between Crescent Petroleum, Dana Gas, OMV of Austria, MOL of Hungary and RWEST of Germany.

Broader interests

Badr is a member of the United Nations Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Humanitarian Financing, a member of the UNESCO’s International Commission on the Futures of Education, and a member of the Board of Advisors of the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

In 2010, he founded the Pearl Initiative, a non-profit 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), 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 Center (Sheraa) and Gaza Sky Geeks and is a Board member of Endeavor UAE, a network supporting high-impact entrepreneurship.

As well as being involved with Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, Badr is a member of the Advisory Boards of the American University of Sharjah, American University of Beirut and the MIT Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship. He is the Founding Patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy based at Cambridge Judge Business School, and the Strategic Philanthropy Initiative based at NYU Abu Dhabi. 

Society & charity work

As a supporter of the arts, Badr 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, and founder of the non-profit Middle East Theatre Academy. 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 centre 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 and a member of the WEF Stewardship Board on New Economy and Society and the Stewardship Board on Digital Economy and New Value Creation. In addition, Badr is Champion of the World Economic Forum’s EDISON Alliance advocating for inclusive access to digital services in the MENA region and beyond.

How philanthropy in the Gulf is focusing on long-term impact

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Scaling up the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy

by Jack Lilley, Communications Manager at the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy In September, the team at the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy (CSP) held…

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What happened at Talking Philanthropy, the world’s largest philanthropy forum?

We reflect on Global Philanthropic's recent Talking Philanthropy forum, co-hosted with the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge Judge Business School and…

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HRH Princess Lamia Bint Majed Saud AlSaud in conversation with Badr Jafar

Hailing from Saudi Arabia, the largest economy in the Arab region, HRH Princess Lamia AlSaud, the Secretary General and a member of…

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Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder of the World Economic Forum, speaks with Badr Jafar

Watch this conversation with Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, where he shares his hopes for…

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A conversation with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva

Watch this insightful interview with IMF​'s Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva and the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy's Founding Patron, Badr Jafar, as they…

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The links between academic research and impactful & scalable philanthropy

Trillions of dollars are expected to be passed on to the next generation of aspiring philanthropists within the next decade. In this…

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Nandan and Rohini Nilekani share their golden rules for strategic philanthropy

Examples of questions explored in this interview with renowned philanthropists Nandan and Rohini Nilekani, conducted by Badr Jafar, Founding Patron of the…

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The role of philanthropy in bridging the annual funding gap to meet SDGs

The growth in emerging market philanthropy could not be occurring at a more critical time. Government budgets are coming under ever increasing…

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Philanthropic tie-ups

Pandemic will have 'profound' impact on philanthropy through greater collaboration, Bill Gates says in interview with Badr Jafar, founding patron of the…

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Eye of Riyadh: Generation charts new path towards strategic philanthropy

Professor Mauro Guillén, Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School, and Badr Jafar, Founding Patron of the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge…

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CNN: Quest means business

Badr Jafar, Founding Patron for the Centre for Strategic Philanthropy at Cambridge Judge Business School, speaks to Quest Means Business on CNN…

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Alliance Magazine: The ethics of platform philanthropy

The growth and democratisation of giving through online platforms as one of the key trends that will shape post-pandemic philanthropy, said Bill…

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Alliance Magazine: Interview: Badr Jafar

Badr Jafar, CEO of Crescent Enterprises and founding patron of the newly established Centre for Strategic Philanthropy, spoke to Alliance Magazine. Badr…

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Khaleej Times: Philanthropy centre comes up at University of Cambridge, to focus on high-growth markets including UAE

A new Centre for Strategic Philanthropy has been established at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School dedicated to examining strategic philanthropy…

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The New York Times: Oil prices dive as Saudi Arabia takes aim at Russian production

Badr Jafar, a member of the Advisory Board at Cambridge Judge Business School and CEO of Crescent Enterprises, comments on Saudi Arabia’s…

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CNBC Arabia: Interview with Badr Jafar

In an interview for CNBC Badr Jafar, CEO of the Crescent Group and a member of Advisory Board at Cambridge Judge Business…

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Arab News: Dubai-based CEO Badr Jafar moves the needle at Davos

Badr Jafar, CEO of the Crescent Group and a member of Advisory Board at Cambridge Judge Business School, talks about climate change,…

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Reuters: Davos Today

On the final day of Davos 2020 Badr Jafar, CEO of the Crescent Group and a member of Advisory Board at Cambridge…

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Arabian Business: Middle East missing opportunities for global brand diplomacy

CEO of Crescent Group and a member of Advisory Board at Cambridge Judge Business School Badr Jafar was speaking the Arabian Business…

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Badr Jafar