Alwi Shihab, Senior Fellow, Leimena Institute; Special Envoy of the Indonesian President to the Middle East and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation
Alwi Shihab is one of the leading authorities and scholars on the interaction of Christian and Muslim communities. Currently he is the Indonesian president’s special envoy to the Middle East and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. He was the Indonesian coordinating minister for people’s welfare from 2004 to 2005 and the foreign minister of Indonesia from 1999 to 2001. Alwi studied at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, completing his MA in 1992. He possesses a strong entrepreneurial spirit, and after finishing his undergraduate education Cairo, Egypt, he started several businesses. He was CEO of Glass Priangan Factory in Cianjur, Indonesia, from 1975 to 1979 and then became the acting president director for Alfa Contracting Company in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he worked from from 1979 to 1982. For the next four years, he was the president director of the PT. Prima Advera company in Jakarta, Indonesia. In 1982 he founded Yayasan Darul Qur’an.