Imam Kareem M. Irfan, Esc.
Imam Kareem M. Irfan is Immediate Past President of the Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago, and has served as Chairman of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago, a broad-based federation serving over 400,000 Muslim Americans, for four years since January 2001. He has contributed in a leadership capacity for over 20 years with American and International Muslim community projects focusing on Media Affairs, Inter-faith & Civic Collaborations, Leadership Development, Strategic Planning, and Advocacy & Partnership with Public & Law Enforcement Officials. He serves on the Boards of the Islamic Society of North America, the Inter-Faith Youth Core, the Bernardin Center for Theology & Ministry at Catholic Theological Union, and the Illinois Research Advisory Council for Criminal Justice.
Imam Irfan offers sermons, leads congregational prayers, and speaks at Fund-raising events for Muslim communities across the Chicago area and the United States. As a frequent speaker on Islam and evolving perspectives of Muslim Americans, he has featured on international print, radio and TV media including NPR, CNN, ABC’s Nightline, BBC, TIME, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He is recognized for engaging presentations at inter-faith, civic and corporate events on Islamic precepts, post 9-11 challenges of religious radicalism and extremism, the attendant role of Muslims, and relations with the Islamic world. Amongst his personally cherished talks are the first-ever Islamic prayer for the Chicago City Council, Annual Conference speeches for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce and the AFLCIO, presentations on Islam and inter-religious collaboration at Fortune 500 Companies, Churches and Synagogues, and Commencement speeches at High Schools, Universities and Honor Societies. He is passionately devoted to inter-faith understanding and collaboration which transcend religious, ethnic, cultural and national bounds to effectively address global societal challenges.
A lawyer by profession, Imam Irfan is General Counsel: IP/IT for a global leading company in energy management products and services. He has a M.S. in Computer Engineering from University of Illinois and a J.D. from DePaul University. Following private practice with two international IP law firms, he currently manages the Intellectual Property & Information Technology initiatives for his employer. Having served as Secretary and Board Director of the IP Law Association of Chicago, Imam Irfan regularly lectures on his areas of legal expertise and is committed to pro bono and community service initiatives.
Imam Irfan has received the Distinguished Community Leadership Award from the U.S. Dept. of Justice; the Distinguished Interfaith Collaboration Award from Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago; the Outstanding Religious Services Award from Imam W.D. Mohammed’s African-American Muslim Community; and the Community Service Award from the Muslim Bar Association.