Ahmad Ashkar, Founder and CEO, Hult Prize Foundation

Mr. Ahmad Ashkar is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Hult Prize Foundation – named in a TIME Magazine cover story featuring the top five ideas changing the world and Fast Company’s Most Innovative. His startups, learning programs, projects and companies have been recognized as some of the most impactful in the world. 

In 2019, Ahmad was named by Gulf Business as, “Top 100 Most Powerful Arabs” for his work in youth empowerment via the Hult Prize, the founded in 2009, which employs staff on six continents and manages the largest student workforce of 30,000 organizers and volunteers and represents a wide scale community of impact centered startup entrepreneurs emerging from university with a network of over two million people, spanning 121 countries. 

A leader in development, academia and industry, Ahmad has been recognized as the 2018 GQ Entrepreneur of the Year, the 2017 CEO of the Year by Arabian Business and the 2016 Esquire Magazine Entrepreneur of the Year, Ahmad has spent a decade teaching entrepreneurship, building world leading acceleration programs and educational content and inspiring millions of youth to change the world through business.

Ahmad is a leading authority in education, entrepreneurship and venture philanthropy, having created open innovation platforms for leading corporations, universities, philanthropists, businessmen and government leaders across the world, including co-founding, “The Laudato Si Challenge - Inspired by Pope Francis.” He has built leading entrepreneur and learning programs for governments across the Middle East including Jordan, Lebanon and Palestine, most recently launching the Changemaker Festival and Impact Awards for Arab based youth. He serves as an advisory board member of the United Nations Development Program and is a member of the Entrepreneurs Expert Network of the World Economic Forum.

He also serves as an adviser to family offices, religious institutions, private and government sector entities across the Middle East, Latin America, Europe and Asia. He is the author of the forthcoming book, “The Pursuit of Impact” and an active advocate for Middle East Peace and youth employment equality. Mr. Ashkar resides in Northern Virginia with his wife Tanya and four children, Nano, Layan, Adam and Jude. In D.C. Ahmad is the Founding Chairman of Falafel Inc, the 2017 Washington, D.C. Metro restaurant of the year according to Yelp and Buzz Feed. Falafel Inc is a venture backed impact enterprise, which Ahmad founded in 2016 to feed and empower refugees -- having fed nearly 100,000 needy people since opening its flagship Georgetown location, the brand has quickly become one of America’s favorite food social enterprise companies. He also serves as an adviser to the economic development department of George Mason University and is a guest lecturer at MIT Sloan, Georgetown, AUB and the Hult International Business School – where he earned his MBA in international business and was the 2015 alumnus of the year.

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