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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.

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Philanthropic tie-ups

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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

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

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CNBC Arabia: Interview with Badr Jafar

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

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Reuters: Davos Today

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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