South African digital media practitioner, entrepreneur and strategist Mohamed Nanabhay has joined Media Development Investment Fund as Deputy CEO.
Nanabhay, a digital entrepreneur who as Head of Online at Al Jazeera English led the team that produced award-winning coverage of the Arab Spring in 2011, stepped off MDIF’s Board of Directors to take on the role as of 1 October 2015.
“I am delighted to be joining MDIF’s team,” Nanabhay said. “The combination of a meaningful mission, fascinating challenges, and outstanding people is incredibly motivating. I’m looking forward to using my experiences to help news businesses – and MDIF – innovate and thrive in difficult environments.”
Nanabhay has been involved in developing online businesses since 1995 as a practitioner, angel investor and mentor. He has co-founded companies as diverse as a web analytics platform and a listings and community website, and his angel investments include the travel intelligence site Skift.
“Mohamed’s record as a leading innovator in digital news, a successful founder of digital media and technology companies, an experienced investor in tech start-ups, and an internationally recognized expert on digital media strategy and policy make him an ideal person to help lead MDIF into the future,” said Harlan Mandel, MDIF CEO. “As part of Mohamed’s leadership role, he will take the lead in driving our digital investment strategy and, from his base in South Africa, further develop our growing African portfolio and expand our efforts in the Middle East. I can’t think of a better person to lead these crucial elements of our business.”
During his eight years at Al Jazeera, Mohamed worked through various roles in the organisation. He started up their New Media division, served as an advisor and executive to the Director-General, and finally went on to lead Online at Al Jazeera English. He was named a Creative Commons Pioneer by BusinessWeek, member of the Board of Directors of Global Voices Online and a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Social Media.
Read Ventureburn’s interview with Mohamed about MDIF’s 20-year track record and how it is navigating the digital disruption.