Shamil Idriss is president and CEO of Search for Common Ground, a global peace-building organization with offices in 35 countries. Search adapts creative approaches to build the trust and cooperation between divided communities that is essential to sustainable development. Search has pioneered the use of media for social change, led a global effort to support youth leadership in peace-building and played a key role in support of the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.
Previously, Idriss worked with the UN Alliance of Civilizations first as deputy director appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan and later as acting director. Later, as Senior Advisor to the UN, he facilitated dialogue between senior religious and political leaders from the Arab region, Europe and the US before, during and after the “Arab Spring” revolutions.
As CEO of Soliya, Idriss led an effort involving civil society organizations, governments and multi-lateral organizations to establish the field of “virtual exchange,” culminating in President Obama’s announcement in February 2015 of the establishment of the J. Christopher Stevens Virtual Exchange Initiative funded by the US, multiple Arab Governments and the Bezos Family Foundation.
Idriss is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and recipient of a 2015 Open Society Foundation New Executive Award.