Zeinab Badawi was born in the Sudan – her family moved to London when she was two years old. She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and for an MA in history (awarded with a distinction) at SOAS, London University.
Badawi has worked extensively in the British media for four decades and is now best known for her work in the BBC’s international division at BBC World News TV and BBC World Service Radio on programmes such as ‘Hard Talk’, and ‘Global Questions’ as well as a major 20-part tv series on the history of Africa which she produced and presented through her own production company for BBC World News.
Badawi is the current Chair of the Royal African Society (Patron: HRH the Duke of Cambridge), a member of the International Advisory Council of Afrobarometer and of MINDS – the Mandela Institute for National Development Strategies, a member of the steering committee of the Africa Europe Foundation, a trustee of Historic Royal Palaces, BBC Media Action (the charitable arm of the BBC), the Royal Opera House, and Hampstead Theatre in London. She is also a member of the Rhodes Commission. She has previously served on the board of the British Council, the National Portrait Gallery, the Institute of Historical Research, the Overseas Development Institute and she has been Chair of Article 19.
Badawi has received many awards including honorary doctorates from SOAS and the University of the Arts London, the President’s Medal of the British Academy for her services to broadcasting and education and the United Nations Association-UK Sir Brian Urquhart award for distinguished service to the UN. She has four children.