Zeinab Badawi

Broadcaster and economist

Zeinab Badawi is a prolific broadcast journalist for the BBC. She has worked on programmes Hard Talk, Global Questions and Word Debate among many others.

Zeinab Badawi, Leading Woman

Zeinab Badawi

Zeinab Badawi was born in the Sudan, moving to London with her family at the age of two. She studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Oxford University and obtained a Masters Degree (with distinction) in Middle East History and Anthropology from SOAS. In 2011 Badawi was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Arts London and a Honorary Doctorate by SOAS for her services to international broadcasting. 

Badawi has extensive experience in television and radio and is one of the best known broadcast journalists working in the field today. Her current work includes Hard Talk for the BBC which features some of the world’s most notable personalities and politicians.  She also presents Global Questions and World Debate on BBC World TV featured on both BBC radio and television.

Through her own production company she has produced and presented many programmes, including currently the definitive television series of Africa’s history in association with UNESCO, broadcast on BBC World TV. Badawi’s awards include International TV Personality of the Year (the Association of International Broadcasters) and the Movie, Video and Screen Award (MVISA) life time achievement award. Zeinab was also awarded The British Academy’s President’s Medal for services to broadcasting and advocacy for female education.

Badawi has been named several times in Powerlist as one of Britain’s top 100 most influential members of the black community and has been named as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Members of the African Diaspora. She is Chair of the Royal African Society, a Queen’s appointment to the Board of Historic Royal Palaces, a Vice-President of the UN Association UK, a trustee of BBC Media Action and Hampstead Theatre and an advisory board member of the Africa Innovation Summit. 

Affiliated with


Subjects studied

  • Middle East History and Anthropology