Akbar Ahmed

Prof Dr Akbar Ahmed is the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in Washington, DC, and the former Pakistani High Commissioner to the UK and Ireland.

IN ADDITION to his academic and public sector careers, Dr Akbar Ahmed has produced a number of noteworthy films and authored more than a dozen award-winning books.

He produced the Jinnah Quartet and feature film, Jinnah (1998). He was awarded the 2017 Sir Syed Day Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Poetry, Literature, Arts, and the Sciences and declared the 2017 Scholar/Teacher of the Year of the American University School of International Service.

Ahmed’s expertise has earned high praise around the world. The BBC called him, “The world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam,” and the Saudi Gazette lauded him as, “Perhaps the most influential living authority on contemporary Muslim societies.”

Ahmed was awarded the Diplomatic Leadership Award in 2019 from PakPac USA for outstanding academic endeavors. He has produced two documentary films: ‘Journey into America’ and ‘Journey into Europe’, which are both accompanied by books with the same titles.

The book has been featured in multiple summer reading lists and received positive reviews in popular publications, including, The New York Times and the San Francisco Review of Books.

The first three books in the quartet, Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization (2007), Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam (2010), and The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam (2013) also received notable media attention.

Ahmed’s esteemed career has earned him a number of awards, including the Government of Pakistan’s Star of Excellence (Sitara-i-Imtiaz) for academic distinction and Medal of Excellence (Tamgha-i-Imtiaz); the first-ever Purpose Prize alongside Judea Pearl; the inaugural Gandhi Memorial Center Peace Award; the inaugural Award of the Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington; Professor of the Year Award for Washington, D.C. by Carnegie Foundation in 2004.

Ahmed consistently featured in The Muslim 500: The World’s 500 Most Influential Muslims. Also, being named a 2015 Global Thought Leader by the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute and The Huffington Post’s WorldPost.

He has been acknowledged as a “Notable Alumnus” of SOAS, University of London, and Birmingham University, UK.