Senior Director, Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs
Akhtar Badshah is the senior director of Microsoft Citizenship and Public Affairs, where he administers the company’s global community investment and employee programs. Through monetary grants, software and curriculum donations, technology solutions, and employee volunteer hours, Microsoft supports programs and organizations that address the needs of communities worldwide. Since 1983, Microsoft and its employees have provided over $4.6 billion in cash, services and software to nonprofits around the world through localized, company-sponsored giving and volunteer campaigns.
Dr. Badshah oversees Microsoft YouthSpark, which aims to empower youth to imagine and realize their full potential by connecting them with greater opportunities for education, employment, and entrepreneurship. Through YouthSpark, Microsoft aims to create opportunities for 300 million young people around the world over the next three years.
Dr. Badshah also oversees programs aimed at helping nonprofit organizations improve their effectiveness through increased technology capacity. This includes Microsoft’s signature partnerships with organizations such as NPower, the Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Telecentre.org Foundation, TechSoup and NetHope.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Dr. Badshah was the CEO and president of Digital Partners Foundation, a Seattle-area nonprofit organization whose mission is to utilize the digital economy to benefit the poor. At Digital Partners, he established the organization’s core programs in India, Africa and Latin America. His work included development of the Digital Partners Social Venture Fund, designed to support the expansion of IT-based anti-poverty efforts around the world, and the Digital Partners Social Enterprise Laboratory (SEL), an initiative that provides mentorship and seed money to entrepreneurs whose vision and business models use ICT to empower the poor and their underserved communities.
Dr. Badshah is the Chair of the Board of the Telecentre.org Foundation and Secretary of the Board on the Council on Foundations. Dr. Badshah also serves on the Board of Business Civic Leadership Center of the US Chamber of Commerce, Youth Entrepreneurship & Sustainability (YES) and the Foundation for a Digital United Nations. Badshah also serves on the Advisory Boards of the World Affairs Council (Seattle), Santa Clara University Center for Science Technology & Society, and University of Washington, Foster School of Business. He also served on the Washington State, Governor Gregoire’s New Americans Policy Council.
Dr. Badshah in an internationally renowned speaker, and he has given talks around the world and published articles on issues of workforce development and employability: technology and development; megacities and sustainability; and housing, and urban development. He is the co-author of a new book “Technology at the Margins – How IT Meets the Needs of the Emerging Markets”, published by Wiley and Sons. He has also co-edited “Connected for Development – Information Kiosks for Sustainability,” and authored “Our Urban Future: New Paradigms for Equity and Sustainability,”
Dr. Badshah is an architect by training, a doctoral graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, He and his wife are very active in the Seattle area community supporting various causes including the Arts.