Shahed Amanullah Founder of and Halalfire Media

As Senior Advisor for Technology at the US Department of State, Shahed Amanullah works on digital diplomacy and innovation projects in the offices of Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry under the Special Representative to Muslim Communities. Shahed is a regular contributor to policy discourse in venues such as CNN, Newsweek, and Al Jazeera English; speaking engagements at the Council on Foreign Relations and Center for American Progress; and essays in academic journals and major newspapers such as the Washington Post.

A serial entrepreneur who has founded several Silicon Valley new media startups, Shahed most recently served as CEO of Halalfire, which produces compelling online content for and market research on global Muslim communities. He founded, an online newsmagazine 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, the world's largest guide to Halal restaurants & markets, which serves 10 million unique annual users and 500,000 smartphone app downloads. Shahed served as co-founder and CEO of the venture-backed mobile software company Relatia, which was acquired in 2001.

Shahed 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, as well as 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 board of nearly a dozen national non-profit organizations focused on the development of a stable Muslim-American identity. Shahed has a BS from UC Berkeley (where he was elected Student Body Vice-President) and an MBA from Georgetown University.