Pakistani enters ranks of Young Global Leaders

Published: March 26, 2013
Dr Ibrahim is one of the 12 successful professionals selected from the Middle East and North Africa region for the Young Global Leaders Class of 2013 by the World Economic Forum – the only Pakistani named from outside Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE

Dr Ibrahim is one of the 12 successful professionals selected from the Middle East and North Africa region for the Young Global Leaders Class of 2013 by the World Economic Forum – the only Pakistani named from outside Pakistan. PHOTO: FILE

Dr Ali Adnan Ibrahim is an inspiration, in more ways than one.

Yes, his credentials are impressive. And yes, he is one of the 12 successful professionals selected from the Middle East and North Africa region for the Young Global Leaders (YGL) Class of 2013 by the World Economic Forum – the only Pakistani named from outside Pakistan.

However, accolades alone cannot harness the attention of a truly global fan base.

It is his passion to fight poverty, the unique perspective and insight he brings forth, that makes believers out of us – and out of the YGL selection committee.

Drawn from a pool of several thousand candidates, and chosen by a committee chaired by Queen Rania alAbdullah of Jordan, Dr Ibrahim will attend the annual YGL summit in Yangon, Myanmar in June. The programme will include meetings with government representatives, the business community and civil society; first-hand experience of working with local organisations; and workshops and cross-mentorship initiatives.

Today, Dr Ibrahim is a senior executive at one of the largest Islamic banks in Bahrain, specialising in economic development, finance and Islamic banking. Seemingly, each step to get there required unrelenting determination. He completed his initial law degree, focused on Shariah and Pakistan law, from the International Islamic University in Islamabad, and then went on to top law schools in the United States, supported by the Fulbright program as the first Pakistani to win the prestigious scholarship for law.

During his studies, Dr Ibrahim was invited to design and teach a course in Islamic finance law at Georgetown University’s law school, where he continues to be an adjunct professor of law. Since then, as a transactional lawyer in global law firms, Dr Ibrahim worked on several multibillion dollar projects, paying close attention to structuring large Islamic finance transactions.

However, despite his professional achievements within corporate landscape, it is his economic development initiatives for Pakistan and other developing countries that set him apart.

He has twice served as co-chair of the Islamic Finance Committee of the American Bar Association and currently serves as its senior adviser. He is also a member of the Bar in Pakistan, and an advocate of the Supreme Court in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Additionally, his ideas on Islamic microfinance, finance, its regulation, and comparative corporate governance have been published internationally.

As a 2013 honouree, he remains committed to using his global experience and recognition for the welfare of the financially challenged, and contributing to the economic development of Pakistan.

So, yes, Dr Ibrahim is a YGL– a young global leader in every sense of the word.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 26th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Falcon
    Mar 26, 2013 - 2:13AM

    His achievements are certainly inspiring. Keep it up Doctor Sahab.


  • Mika
    Mar 26, 2013 - 2:06PM

    Global or Globalists?


  • M Baloch
    Mar 26, 2013 - 2:31PM

    So he is helping poor pakistanis by assissting dictatorial regime of Bahrain…Wah


  • Dhaka
    Mar 26, 2013 - 2:53PM

    We have more young global leaders than whole pakistan combined


  • Anwar
    Mar 26, 2013 - 3:31PM

    @ M Baloch………..first look into yourself what’s your contribution is for your society/country instead of commenting on others, for God sake be positive..think positive.


  • @Dhaka
    Mar 26, 2013 - 4:49PM

    Good for you. Your juvenile and petty comment is noted.

    And congrats to this young man. I hope the hordes of Hindutva Indians who scour this site to troll have some positive input for once rather than an irrelevant comparison or childish put down.


  • imad
    Mar 26, 2013 - 5:14PM

    Agreed with Anwer


  • antanu
    Mar 26, 2013 - 6:39PM

    you ENGLISH is week…. but keep it to yourself. Insane comments gives one away.


  • @@Dhaka
    Mar 26, 2013 - 8:01PM

    Success and achievement happens through a series of steps – like a domino effect what we are is a result of previous steps, choices made and to some extent luck. One step leads to the next and so it goes. A person is admired and truly respected if the steps are “well deserved” and earned honestly.

    So Lets Rewind to the Past. Young Ibrahim graduates with a law degree from pakistan – like hundreds of thousands of his countrymen. His university is so so and definitely not in the top 3 in Pakistan in Law nor is his “Shariah & Pakistan Law” degree of any use outside pakistan. I’m sure the top global law firms that he worked at later in his life wouldnt even consider a person like him at this juncture and no one did.

    But then something magical happens. – Enter the benevolent and much hated American and the highly respected “Fulbright scholarship”.

    He is awarded a free ride into Americas top universities – at American Tax payer expense of course. He is given opportunities to teach as well and when he graduates from this prestigious university – it is only natural that he gain employment with top law firms managing large deals.

    The American Bar Association offers him the chair for their “islamic finance group” – Im guessing there weren’t too many shariah law and islamic finance interpreters around – actually I’m surprised that there is even a “Islamic finance group” in the ABA considering you don’t really need this in the USA.

    Anyways so he later decides to move a bit closer to home and deservedly secures a top banking position in one of the largest bahraini islamic banks. Now having acquired all these credentials namely – American law degrees, Fulbright scholarship, ABA chair stints, experience in several top law firms, senior banking profile in Middle East.- it is only natural that he be given the Young Global award.

    The question that needs asking is this – What was the Game changer ? Was it him ? What would have happened if he did not get the Fulbright scholarship – would he be able to afford law school in the US considering that americans have a hard time affording it. All of the opportunities and experiences post his coming to the US – including his current job would simply be pipe dreams. Think about it .. Be honest . In all likelihood Mr Ibrahim would be working in a not so well known law firm in Pakistan or if he was lucky head for Dubai or Saudi as a junior clerk.

    You might argue – that he deserved winning the Fulbright scholarship – so therefore earned his destiny. I might argue that he didnt ..Let me tell you a secret .. Shhhhh.. the biggest educational charity set up the US is in Pakistan – yes you heard me right – Of the 200+ countries in the world – only Pakistan gets to have a separate USEFI office with special funding ” read 40 million plus a year” , the largest fulbright scholarship program in the world with several thousand over the years having “won” … well more like given these scholarships. And still Pakistanis hate them so. They provide “game changers” to uplift the lives of ordinary pakistanis and all pakistanis can do is play games with the US.

    No other country gets this privilege. India may have 7 times the population of pakistan and far more deserving candidates but the number of scholarships awarded is much lower ( 450 + every year in Pakistan compared to 60+ in India ). This reminds me of affirmative action or “reservation” given to Blacks in the US in university admission. Are Pakistanis the “reserved category” or “the new blacks”. What if tomorrow in the spirit of fair play and meritocracy – the US decides not to give pakistan any “special treatment” and competiton is open for all under the same umbrella. Would Mr Ibrahim qualify for the Fulbright then ? You really think so ! If you do then you really are unaware of how many other deserving candidates from other countries apply and do not get in because of this preferential treatment.


  • Troll Buster
    Mar 27, 2013 - 10:00PM


    Your indianness is showing in your post. Why are feeling so insensed and seethed by someone’s achievement.

    Anyway, Congratulations to this gentleman for his achiement and best of Luck.


    Mar 28, 2013 - 4:03AM

    AoA, congratulation Dr Adnan Ibrahim Bahi, you are proud of Kashmir, and pakistan


  • Gulam Rasool "Kuldeep sharma"
    Mar 28, 2013 - 11:02AM

    correcting your knowledge: Hindutva is not a religion its a culture & its indigenous not like Arab.
    Please don’t mix Religion with culture.
    My Religion is Islam but culture will be Hindutva, same as Turkey or Malaysia.

    Gulam Rasool”Kuldeep sharma”
    New Delhi


  • Mar 29, 2013 - 5:20PM

    Let me Google it for you.


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