Success stories of Palestinian achievers from all over the world

Wadah Khanfar

Wadah Khanfar

Sector : Media, Directors

Personal Info

  • Country of residence: Qatar
  • Gender: Male
  • Born in: 1969
  • Age: 47
  • Curriculum vitae :


Wadah Khanfar (born 1969) is the President of Al Sharq Forum, an independent network dedicated to developing long-term strategies for political development, social justice and economic prosperity of the people of the Middle East. He previously served as the Director General of Al Jazeera Media 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)., in 2008 World Economic Forum named Khanfar as one of the 'Young Global Leaders'. During his tenure Al Jazeera 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 September 2011, he stepped down as the head of Al Jazeera Network.

Wadah was born in the Palestinian town of Jenin in 1968 to the Khanfar family of Yemenite origin. He obtained a bachelor of science degree in engineering at the University of Jordan in 1990 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 an inter-university dialogue group among 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, and Khanfar started making a name for himself as a charismatic and natural leader, helping to organize forums, protests, festivals and demonstrations for student rights.

Khanfar became Managing Director of the Al Jazeera Channel in 2003 and Director General of the Al Jazeera Network in 2006. He spoke at the 2011 TED Conference on the ongoing Arab Spring.
On 20 September 2011, Khanfar announced on his official Twitter page that he was 'moving on' from Al Jazeera after leading the channel for 8 years.

Khanfar has the following memberships; member of International Crisis Group’s Board of Trustees, member of the World Economic Forum’s (DAVOS) Global Agenda Council on Geopolitical Risk 2012, board member of the Global Editors Network:empower editors-in-chief and senior news executives from around the world looking for the preservation of editorial quality when working with publishers, media owners and news suppliers.

Achievements and Awards


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