Wael Ghonim was born in Cairo and grew up in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, earning a degree in computer engineering from Cairo university in 2004 and an MBA from the American University in Cairo in 2007. He joined Google in 2008, rising to become head of marketing for Google Middle East and North Africa. He is currently on a sabbatical from Google to launch a nongovernmental organization supporting education and technology in Egypt.

Wael Ghonim topped Time magazine’s yearly list of the world’s 100 most influential people in 2011, and he also received the JFK Profile in Courage Award on behalf of “the people of Egypt.” Kennedy said she could think of no better recipients.

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