About Abdul Latif Jameel
“The time is right now to look at water and food security because both humankind and the planet itself are changing rapidly.”
—Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel ’78, benefactor of the Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab at MIT
The lab is named for Abdul Latif Jameel, father of MIT alumnus Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, chairman of the social enterprise organization Community Jameel, who established the lab with a major endowment in 2014, and in 2015 made another substantial award to launch the J-WAFS Solutions Program. Mr. Jameel has a history of supporting efforts to address the most significant problems facing mankind. He previously endowed Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at MIT in 2005, in 2009 gave another substantial gift to J-PAL, and in 2017 endowed MIT's Abdul Latif Jameel World Education Lab (J-WEL).
Commenting on the establishment of J-WAFS at MIT, Mr. Jameel noted “I was lucky to have studied at MIT, where I witnessed firsthand how MIT uses science, technology, and scholarship to solve ‘real-world’ problems of global significance. This experience led me to have no hesitation in helping MIT by providing the significant resources to start the Lab, which will help find solutions to two of the biggest problems facing mankind. Water and food are essential to life: without them mankind simply cannot survive. How will we find enough food to feed 2 billion more people by mid-century with an eventually declining agricultural footprint and water resources? I hope that this new Lab can address these historic challenges facing us all and help change the future now for generations to come.”
Mr. Jameel was awarded the 2016 Bronze Beaver, the MIT Alumni Association's highest honor, for his volunteer services and philanthropy. The full announcement of the award can be found here.
Mr. Jameel was featured in the summer 2015 edition of Spectrum. A more in-depth interview can be found here.