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Diplomacy in Action


Shahed Amanullah
Senior Advisor for Technology
Office of the Special Representative for Muslim Communities
Term of Appointment: 03/15/2011 to present
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As Senior Advisor for Technology at the US Department of State, Shahed Amanullah works on digital diplomacy and innovation projects for the Special Representative to Muslim Communities, who reports directly to Secretary of State John Kerry. In addition to his work in developing and expanding the Generation Change and Viral Peace projects, Shahed works with the White House and other USG departments on social entrepreneurship, social media policy, combating online extremism, and fostering innovation. Shahed has appeared in venues such as CNN, Newsweek, and Al Jazeera English, and has spoken at the Council on Foreign Relations and Center for American Progress. He has also published essays in academic journals and major newspapers, including the Washington Post.

A serial entrepreneur who has founded several Silicon Valley new media startups, Shahed most recently served as CEO of Halalfire, which produces compelling online content for and market research on global Muslim communities. He founded altmuslim.com, an online newsmagazine with 2.5 million annual unique users, and served as its editor-in-chief for 10 years before its 2011 acquisition by Patheos. In 1998, he created zabihah.com, the world's largest guide to Halal restaurants & markets, which serves 10 million unique annual users and has enjoyed over 500,000 smartphone app downloads. Shahed served as co-founder and CEO of the venture-backed mobile software company Relatia, which was sold in 2001.

Shahed has been named three times (2009, 2010, and 2011) as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by Georgetown University & the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan, as well as one of the top 10 most visionary young Muslims by Islamica Magazine (2007) and was the winner of the SXSW Dewey Winburne Award for Community Service in 2007. He has also served on the boards of nearly a dozen national non-profit organizations focused on Muslim-American issues of identity. Shahed has a BS from UC Berkeley and an MBA from Georgetown University.



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