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Facebook’s co-founder Chris Hughes is one of Jeddah Economic Forum’s stars

Jeddah Economic Forum, which will start on Tuesday, hosts Facebook’s co-founder, Chris Hughes, in a panel titled “Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Enablers” as a primary speaker. Chris Hughes’ fortune is estimated to be around 100 million US dollars. This young man was only a teenager when he co-founded Facebook, working part-time for four years, assisting Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg from their Harvard dormitory room. Chris was also Facebook’s spokesperson, and became a wealthy person when he was only 23 years old.

Hughes’ initial challenge was not creating a social network, although he does not know anything when it comes to programming and technologies, but his character believes in challenging oneself to reach the set goals. Hughes grew up in Hickory, North Carolina, and knew exactly what he wanted at an early stage; he wanted to leave Hickory. He enrolled at Philips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts at the age of 15, which shocked his parents; Ray, a sales manager at an industrial paper facility, and Brenda, a high school mathematics teacher. Hughes, their only child, got accepted at the academy, and joined a scholarship program and soon became an academic success story in Andover, whose graduates include George H. W. Bush and George W Bush. Hughes received another scholarship, but this time at Harvard. He was lucky that his freshman roommate in 2002 was a student studying at Philips Exeter Academy who happens to be a programming wonder: Mark Zuckerberg.

Hughes, who majored in Literature and History, found no hobby in computing, but was fascinated by Mark Zuckerberg’s web project. Hughes shared some suggestions which showed that he had special insights. Contrary to Zuckerberg’s hot temper and rational thinking, Hughes was friendly and well-spoken, and has an attractive personality. He was the group’s natural sales representative, and subsequently its spokesperson.

The groups project was Facebook, which started from Zuckerberg and Hughes’ dormitory room, eventually becoming a massive social network. Hughes left the Facebook project for a few months after graduating from Harvard in 2006.

Hughes, 30 years old, is known in the US media as “The Kid Who Made Obama President” because he worked for Barack Obama, the presidential candidate at the time, and created Obama’s social media pages for the historical presidential online campaign in 2008.

For his third project the new media pioneer looked at classic media when he recently decided to embark on a new challenge: purchasing the 100-year-old magazine The New Republic. On March 9th 2012, the prestigious magazine readers were greeted by a brief introduction written by Chris Hughes identifying himself as the new owner and editor in chief of the magazine. Hughes, who never ran a magazine and never worked as a journalist before, promised to adapt to the latest technology trends without sacrificing serious journalism.

This sudden deal was met with limited noise at the alleys of power and finance in Washington and New York: Why did Hughes, who was 28 years old at the time, take the trouble of caring for The New Republic, a magazine with a long positive history and a gloomy present? However, at the magazine’s offices in K Street, Hughes was welcomed as an editor and savior, and this optimism paid off: Hughes added more pages to each issue, supported the editorial team, and optimized printing delivery.