Senior Adviser, Chatham House; Group Chief Executive, Petrofac Ltd
Ayman Asfari graduated with a BSc in Engineering (Villanova University) and an MSc in Civil and Urban Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. In his early career Ayman was a Resident Engineer for the Conser Consulting Group before taking the position of Managing Director for Desert Line Projects (DLP) in Oman.
He joined US-based Petrofac in 1991 and moved to London to establish Petrofac International. Ayman spent the next three decades growing the business, expanding its range of services, and firmly establishing Petrofac in its core markets. He led a corporate re-organisation in 2002, becoming Group Chief Executive, and in 2005 led a successful initial public offering (IPO).
Under Ayman’s leadership, the business has developed into a leading oilfield services company providing services to customers across the oil and gas asset life-cycle, on both a stand-alone and integrated basis.
In 2010, Ayman was heralded as Ernst & Young’s UK Entrepreneur of the Year and, in both 2011 and 2012, he was named Oil Services Executive of the Year at the World National Oil Company Congress. He was elected a fellow of the Energy Institute and a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in the UK. After more than 25 years Ayman still serves as Petrofac’s Group Chief Executive and he remains its largest shareholder.
In 2006 Ayman, along with his wife Sawsan, founded the Asfari Foundation to provide educational opportunities for young Middle Eastern scholars in the UK, and to promote civil society in the Arab world. He serves as the Chairman of the Foundation and is its principle benefactor. In 2012 the Foundation helped set up the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the AUB.
In light of the recent crisis facing Syria the Foundation has increased its humanitarian aid efforts, especially for Syrian refugees, and has spent tens of millions of USD supporting refugee education and civil society initiatives.
Ayman Asfari is a member of the Board of Trustees for The American University of Beirut (AUB). He is also on the Board of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He was appointed and continues to serve as a UK Business Ambassador to the UK Prime Minister.