Safi Qureshey has been on the frontline of technology innovation since 1980, when he co-founded AST Research, Inc. to address the burgeoning PC market. Since then, he has grown an international network through his many successes in technology, investment, political service, and philanthropy. It is with his experience and these connections that he strives to bring two fundamental human rights to those in need across the world: health and education.

Growth of AST

In 1984, with AST Research, Inc., he became the first Pakistani-American to take a company public, amassing sales of more than $100 million. In 1991, when Dubai was barely known to American companies, AST was the first technology company to build a new facility in Jebel Ali to reach the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.

Safi has the designation of first Pakistani-American founder/CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

With more than 6,000 employees and sales of over $2.7 billion, AST ranked in the top-10 PC companies in the world and was the market share leader in China. In 1997, they were acquired by Korea's largest electronics company, Samsung Electronics.

An Accomplished Advisor

Safi has active career as an advisor in politics and business.

From 1994-98, he served as a member of President Clinton’s Export Council. Safi was involved in several missions to China, India, Indonesia, and Thailand as part of a delegation including Secretaries of Commerce Ronald Brown, Robert Mosbacher, and Richard Daly, as well as U.S. Trade Representative Mickey Cantor.

  • In 2003, Safi was appointed by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as a member of his new administration’s transition committee.
  • He served on Anaheim Mayor Curt Pringle’s Technology Advisory Committee.
  • He is a founding member and former President of the Southern California chapter of TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs), a global network of high net worth individuals from South Asia. TiE has 13,000 members and 57 chapters in 14 countries.
  • He is a founding member of the California Business-Higher Education Forum and was its Chairman from 1994-95.
  • He was a Regent’s Professor within the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Irvine as well as a member of UCI’s CEO roundtable.

Developing a Better Society

Safi’s vision for the improvement of society through education, healthcare, and philanthropy has been a lifelong mission. Throughout the years, he has made many significant contributions to the fields of education and health.

  • He founded and was previously the chairman of the Unity Productions Foundation ( in 1999. UPF’s mission is to use media for greater understanding of Islam and Muslims in America.
  • Acting as a trustee for Give2Asia, which strengthens communities throughout Asia by building trusted networks for charitable investments, Safi has helped the organization become more efficient in their operations and to fully leverage IT for its day-to-day operations.
  • He made significant investments in the Pakistani version of beloved children’s program “Sesame Street,” localizing it for the Urdu language.
  • Board member for the Merage Foundation for the American Dream, an organization dedicated to promoting social change through education and community development.
  • Board member for Anvita Health of San Diego, an innovative healthcare analytics company that provides the analytics engine for Google Health and other healthcare leaders.
  • Board member for Japan Ecologica of Tokyo, creators of natural pesticides for consumer and agricultural industry needs.
  • He has made financial contributions to support U.C. Irvine's Bonney Center for Neurobiology of Learning and Memory and the Qureshey Research Laboratory, the first research building at UCI funded entirely by private sources.
  • He also founded the eponymous Safi Qureshey Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing basic literacy and childhood development through media in Pakistan.

Honors & Recognition

During his career, Safi has received international recognition for his professional and philanthropic work including:

  • New York Times in JUly 2011 covered him as one of 38 successful immigrants honored by the Carnegie Corporation of New York
  • “Director of the Year for Early Stage Companies” Award from the Forum for Corporate Directors in Orange County, CA.
  • “Humanitarian Award” from the National Council for Communities and Justice in Orange County, CA.
  • Irvine Recipient of the American Muslim Achievement Award
  • The UCI Medal, the highest medal conferred by the University of California, Irvine for distinguished service.
  • International Entrepreneur of the Year from the University of Illinois, Carbondale
  • Distinguished Alumnus from the University of Texas, Arlington
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