Crescent Petroleum began its activities in the early 1970s and is the first regional, independent, privately owned Middle Eastern petroleum company to engage in the acquisition, exploration and development of petroleum concessions; and the production and sale of crude oil, petroleum products and natural gas. Together, Crescent Petroleum and Dana Gas have invested over $1bn in the oil and gas sector in Iraq's Kurdistan region, producing over 340 million cubic feet of gas and 15,000 barrels of condensate per day, enabling almost continuous electricity in the main cities in Iraq's Kurdistan region.
Previous to joining Crescent Petroleum and the Crescent Group of companies in 2004, Jafar spent several years working at Shell with Shell International’s Exploration & Production and Gas & Power Divisions in London.
Jafar has been named as one of the 25 most powerful people in the Middle East oil and gas sector. He has also been a commentator on the oil and gas sector and energy policy and has written on the economic challenges in the Arab World, the development of the UAE and the geopolitics of oil and gas in the Caspian Region. In 2013 Jafar was elected Vice-Chairman of the Global Energy Initiative, the international NGO headquartered at UN Plaza in New York that is focused on sustainable development through tackling climate change and energy poverty across the world. He was listed among the top 100 business leaders from the Middle East and as Energy CEO of 2013 by Amwal and has been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.
He is a Trustee of the Arab Forum for Environment and Development (AFED) and the Iraqi Energy Institute, a member of the Young Presidents Organisation and of the Panel of Senior Advisors of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) in London chaired by former UK Prime Minister John Major.
Majid Jafar is active in promoting the social and economic development of the Arab world. An advocate of tackling youth unemployment through investment in the region, Jafar has served as the Vice-Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Youth Unemployment and the founder of the “Arab Stabilization Plan”, which focuses on job creation through critical infrastructure investments to achieve economic stability and prevent instability. Jafar is a regular commentator and has written a number of articles on social and economic issues affecting the Arab world, including in the Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph, and has called for a ‘Marshall Plan’ for the Arab World when speaking at the Davos Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum. He was named “Visionary of the Year” of the Year at the CEO Middle East Awards for his work to tackle youth unemployment in the region. In 2014, he was listed among the world's 100 most powerful Arabs and amongst the leading "Thinkers" by Arabian Business.
In March 2014 Jafar co-launched the Centre for Economic Growth (CEG) in Abu Dhabi in partnership with the INSEAD international business school as a unique collaboration between the private sector and a business school to provide research and publications on the key economic issues for the Middle East, including enhancing economic growth and job creation. He serves as the Founding Chair of the CEG Business Council. He also sits on the Middle East Advisory board of Carnegie Endowment and Harvard Business School, as well as the Board of the Queen Rania Foundation and is a Founding Patron of the Prince's Trust International in the UK.
Jafar has also been named co-Chair of the Business Backs Education campaign launched by former U.S. President Bill Clinton with the GEMS Foundation at the annual Global Education and Skills Forum to encourage greater commitments by the private sector to education worldwide, with five regional summits across the world including one in October 2014 hosted by former Mayor of London Boris Johnson. In September 2014, Jafar was Co-Chair of the World Economic Forum Special Meeting in Istanbul on 'Unlocking Resources for Regional Development'. He was also Chairman of the March 2016 'Change in the Middle East: new lines in the sand?' conference held by the Ditchley Foundation.
Jafar authored the opening chapter of 'Performance and Progress: Essays on Capitalism, Business and Society' published in 2015 by Oxford University Press and featuring chapters by Nobel Prize winners Kenneth Arrow and Amartya Sen and Business Leaders like Alibaba's Jack Ma.
Majid Jafar attended Eton College and graduated from Cambridge University (Churchill College) with Bachelor and master's degrees in Engineering (Fluid Mechanics and Thermodynamics). He also holds an MA (with Distinction) in International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), and an MBA (with Distinction) from Harvard Business School, where he served as president of the Energy Club, Section Senator, and representative to the Harvard Graduate Council.
Majid Jafar is the eldest son of Hamid Jafar, founder of Crescent Petroleum and Chairman of the Crescent Group, and is a grandson of Dhia Jafar, a prominent politician and Cabinet Minister in the last decade of Iraq’s monarchy during the reign of King Faisal II until 1958. The Jafar family are sayyids, tracing their ancestry directly from the Prophet Muhammad,.
He is the elder brother of Badr Jafar, a business executive and social entrepreneur based in the United Arab Emirates, and Razan Jafar, who is also a Director of Crescent Petroleum. He is additionally a nephew of nuclear physicist Jafar Dhia Jafar, widely known as the father of the Iraqi Nuclear Program, who has led electricity reconstruction efforts in post-war Iraq and is now CEO of the URUK Group.
The Jafar family has supported the Jafar Research Professorship of Petroleum Engineering at Cambridge University and the Jafar Centre for Executive Education at the American University of Sharjah. In 2015, the Jafar Hall and the Jafar Gallery were opened by the Prince of Wales at Eton College.
Arab Stabilization Plan