Rahim Kanani is President of Rahim Kanani Media Group, Inc, a strategy, communications and partnerships firm that serves mega-corporations, foundations, and global development agencies including Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, Fox Pictures, the World Bank, the United Nations Foundation, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), and the UN Development Programme (UNDP), among others.
Rahim previously served as a founding member of the religion & geopolitics advisory council at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, where he advised on strategic outreach, media and communications. In addition, Rahim was the founding editor and partnerships manager for the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship. A program of the Skoll Foundation, the Skoll World Forum is held annually in Oxford, UK, and attracts nearly 1,000 distinguished delegates from the social, finance, private and public sectors for three days and nights of critical debates, discussions and work sessions aimed at innovating, accelerating and scaling entrepreneurial solutions to social challenges.
As an architect of the new year-round platform, Rahim led editorial direction, strategy and partnerships, working with the world’s leading experts, innovators, and philanthropists on 500 opinion pieces that spanned global health, education, food security, climate change, human rights, women and girls, and many other issues. Additionally, Rahim forged innovative collaborations with Forbes, Fast Company, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Reuters, the Atlantic, CNN, Al Jazeera, Harvard Business Review, McKinsey & Company, Johnson & Johnson, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Getty Images, among many other top-tier organizations. During his tenure, Skoll World Forum-branded content totaled nearly 2M pageviews across 30+ partner platforms, tremendously expanding the visibility of the Skoll World Forum and Skoll Foundation to important audiences worldwide.
Rahim also spent several years as a leadership contributor to Forbes.com, publishing hundreds of interviews with the world’s foremost innovators and executives–reaching more than 1M people. Combined with other previous editorial affiliations including Thomson Reuters Foundation, Rahim has interviewed more than 500 global leaders to date. Some of his interviewees over the years include former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, White House Senior Advisor and Assistant to the President Valerie Jarrett, Administrator of USAID Rajiv Shah, Administrator of UNDP and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gillard, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, former Senator John Kerry, former U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, President of Harvard University Drew Faust, President of the Rockefeller Foundation Judith Rodin, Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel of Saudi Arabia, Hollywood filmmaker James Cameron, world-renowned chefs/restaurateurs José Andrés, Anthony Bourdain, Eric Ripert, Hubert Keller and Wolfgang Puck, and billionaire philanthropists Jeff Skoll, Michael Bloomberg, and Eli Broad. Rahim has also interviewed celebrities such as American rap icon Curtis “50 Cent” Jackson, international recording artist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira, Adrian Grenier of HBO’s Entourage, television and film actress Eva Longoria, CEO and designer of American lifestyle brand Tory Burch, pop icon Madonna, and 14-time Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and producer Alicia Keys on their philanthropic efforts.
Before Skoll, Rahim served as an innovation and advocacy communications officer at the World Bank Institute in Washington DC, splitting his time between the communication’s team and the innovation practice. He focused on strategic outreach, branding, positioning and engagement around issues of open data, open government, and open development.
Prior to the World Bank, Rahim worked on strategy, communications and outreach for the justice and human rights program at the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations at Harvard University. During this time, he also served as a Teaching Assistant at Harvard University to four graduate-level courses: Introduction to the Nonprofit Sector; Leading and Managing Nonprofit Organizations; Islam in the West after 9/11; and The Future of War: Conflict and Order in the 21st Century.
Prior to joining the Hauser Center, Rahim worked at Harvard Kennedy School’s Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, Harvard School of Public Health’s Program on Humanitarian Policy and Conflict Research, and Harvard’s Pluralism Project, among other related organizations.
Other notable experiences include serving as the lead researcher and writer to Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, former director of the Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence at the U.S. Department of Energy and former head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s WMD and terrorism office, on a 150-page research report titled Islam and the Bomb–exploring the Islamic justification for and against the acquisition, possession and use of nuclear weapons.
Before pursuing an intersecting career in strategic communications and international affairs, Rahim spent nearly three years as a technology consultant for the University of Western Ontario while completing his undergraduate studies in philosophy, a position he began following a summer opportunity on the digital team at the Walt Disney Internet Group Headquarters in North Hollywood, California.
In late 1999, and while still in high school, Rahim began his entrepreneurial journey by pioneering online DVD movie rentals to the Canadian market after reading about the early success of then-startup Netflix. Ultimately, the e-commerce venture was sold after 19 months of rapid growth.
Born in Vancouver, Canada, Rahim has studied at the University of Western Ontario, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and Harvard Divinity School.