Ambassador Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University in Washington DC, is “the world’s leading authority on contemporary Islam” according to the BBC. Former High Commissioner of Pakistan to Great Britain he has advised Prince Charles and met with President George W. Bush on Islam. His numerous books, films and documentaries have won awards. His books have been translated into many languages including Chinese and Indonesian. Dr. Ahmed is regularly interviewed on CNN, CBC, the BBC, ARY TV and has appeared several times on the Oprah Winfrey Show and Night Line. He has presented and narrated “The Glories of Islamic Art”, the three-part television series for Channel 5, UK, to be broadcast this fall.
In February 2005 the National Cathedral held a special Evensong Service to honor Dr. Ahmed. He is also a Senior Fellow at The Case Foundation in Washington, D.C. He spoke at the Chairman’s Distinguished Speakers Lecture Series at the Pentagon and gave the inaugural lectures for the first Chair in Jewish-Muslim Studies at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He lectured at a World Affairs Council event along with Dick Cheney, Dr. Henry Kissinger and Bernard Lewis (“Also,” wrote the Program Director, “I just completed the evaluation and you were the speaker the respondents liked best. Now that is an honor.”).He was the first Muslim to lecture at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC. Ahmed is Principal Investigator for “Islam in the Age of Globalization”, a project supported by The Brookings Institution, American University and The Pew Research Center, and Visiting Fellow at Brookings in addition to his appointment at American University. He is now working on the book of the travels and television series. He has been invited to continue as Fellow at Brookings for the coming year. He was Finalist with Dr. Judea Pearl in the “Most Inspiring Person of the Year 2005” in a poll conducted by BeliefNet and Finalist in the first ever Purpose Prize Award.