Shahed Amanullah Co-Founder of Affinis Labs, Creator of Zabihah, and former Senior Advisor, US State Department

Shahed is co-founder and CTO of Affinis Labs, a Northern Virginia innovation hub and startup accelerator that focuses on businesses with positive social impacts in global Muslim communities. Through Affinis Labs, he helps organize global hackathons to create social impact businesses and digital tools, incubate and accelerate startups for global markets, and create compelling global brands. As CTO, Shahed helps manage the development and launch of incubated initiatives and builds the technology architecture for portfolio companies.

A Silicon Valley veteran, Shahed also co-founded LaunchPosse, a startup based at Affinis Labs that helps people leverage their social networks to shape and launch ideas for entrepreneurship. Prior to starting LaunchPosse, Shahed served as Senior Advisor for Technology at the US Department of State, where he worked closely with the White House and other government agencies on social entrepreneurship, social media policy, combating online extremism, and fostering innovation. Shahed also founded Halalfire, a producer of online content and market research for global Muslim communities. He founded Altmuslim, an online magazine with 2.5 million annual unique users, and served as its editor-in-chief for 10 years before its 2011 acquisition by Patheos. In 1998, he created Zabihah, the world's largest Halal restaurant guide, with 10 million annual users and 500,000 mobile app downloads. Shahed was also co-founder and CEO of Relatia, a venture-backed mobile software company acquired in 2001.

Shahed has written and/or been featured in pieces about technology, foreign policy, and media trends in venues such as CNN and Newsweek, has spoken at the Council on Foreign Relations and Center for American Progress, and has published essays in academic journals and newspapers such as the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune. He has been named three times (2009, 2010, and 2011) as one of the 500 most influential Muslims in the world by Georgetown University & the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan, one of the Islamic 500 most influential entrepreneurs in the global Islamic economy (2015), one of the top 10 most visionary young Muslims by Islamica Magazine (2007), and the winner of the SXSW Dewey Winburne Award for Community Service (2007). He has also served on the boards of nearly a dozen national non-profit organizations focused on building stable Muslim-American identities. Shahed has a BS from UC Berkeley (where he served as Student Body Vice-President) and an MBA from Georgetown.