Shamil Idris

CEO of Search for Common Ground
Washington, D.C.

Shamil Idris serves as the CEO of Search for Common Ground, the world’s largest dedicated peacebuilding organization. There, Shamil has led efforts to end violent conflict in more than 35 countries globally, including some of the most devastating conflict zones in the Middle East and Africa.

His extensive experience includes an appointment by United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan as Deputy Director of the UN Alliance of Civilizations. In this role, he worked closely with policymakers to implement conflict prevention projects, played a pivotal role at the World Economic Forum in establishing the Council of 100 Leaders, and focused on innovative conflict prevention strategies.

Additionally, as CEO of Soliya, Shamil led trailblazing efforts in leveraging interactive media for cross-cultural education. His pioneering work resulted in the establishment of the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative announced by President Barack Obama in February 2015, and the subsequent announcement by the European Commission of their dedicated fund to expand virtual exchange in 2017.

With a background in Economics and Philosophy from Swarthmore College, Shamil has authored numerous publications on conflict transformation and peacebuilding. He has also delivered numerous presentations, media appearances, lectures, and keynote addresses on international conflict resolution, media and social change, Islam and West- Muslim World relations, and social entrepreneurship. Most recently, he delivered a TEDx presentation on “Truths About Violent Conflict.”