01 Dec 2017
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The Power of Cultural Understanding

Majid Jafar (MBA 2004)

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Majid Jafar (MBA 2004)

Majid Jafar (MBA 2004) sees the global influence of HBS as a key to creating change in the world, a view that is informed by his experiences growing up in the United Arab Emirates, his time at HBS, and his current position as CEO of Crescent Petroleum, the oldest private oil and natural gas company in the Middle East.

“When I was at HBS it was clearly the world’s leading business school. What it has become even more today is the leading business school for the world,” says Jafar, who has served on the School’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Advisory Board for two years.

As an endorsement of this international focus, Jafar has established a fund to support the MENA Research Center in Istanbul, its Dubai Research Office, and other HBS activities throughout the region. The expansion of HBS’s global centers and offices conducting research on the ground with local companies and governments is vitally important, he observes, not just for the School and its students but also for the regions themselves.

“It is an extremely powerful way to influence the next generation of leaders and policymakers,” he says. “Through business we can cut down barriers, bringing people together to solve problems such as youth unemployment and climate change. HBS cases transmit cultural understanding throughout the world. The result is a very positive multiplier effect.”

In the MENA region where there are substantial investment needs and socioeconomic and political challenges, Jafar says that it is important to understand and tackle the root causes of the problems. He also believes in empowering the private sector and building an eco-system that supports economic growth, improved education, and more employment training for the next generation. As HBS faculty develop more cases on the region, he says, the impact will be far-reaching, given that 80 percent of the cases used in business schools around the world originate from HBS.

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Featured Alumni

Featured Alumni

Class of MBA 2004, Section B

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