Khadijah Sharif-Drinkard serves as Vice President, Associate General Counsel for Viacom Media Networks and BET Networks. In her management position, she is responsible for the daily oversight of business and legal affairs matters for original programming, music programming, specials and news. Her responsibilities entail negotiating and drafting a wide variety of development and production agreements which include deals for third-party production companies, on-camera talent, writers, directors and producers. While at BET, Khadijah was instrumental in bringing the “Black Girls Rock!” franchise to the network and has helped to grow the tent-pole into one of the most coveted shows in the entertainment industry. She also oversaw the deal for the hit biopic “The New Edition Story” which recently aired on BET.
Prior to working at BET, Khadijah served as Vice President, Senior Counsel at Nickelodeon where she oversaw talent deal making for Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Nick-at-Nite, TV Land and Spike TV. She helped to launch shows such as “Dora the Explorer”, “Diego”, “The Backyardigans”, “Zoey 101” and worked on “Spongebob Squarepants” along with other blockbuster hits for Nickelodeon Movies such as “The Rugrats Movie”. During her tenure at Nickelodeon she worked on live-action scripted programming,
children’s animated programming and oversaw all aspects of business affairs for “The Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards”.
Khadijah is a graduate of Class XXII of the Women in Cable Telecommunications’ (WICT) Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, a premier leadership program for women in the media industry. She is also a 2012 graduate of the inaugural class of BET’s THR!VE Executive Development Program. In her spare time Khadijah works in the field of philanthropy and human development, where she has traveled and served on delegations to South Africa, Rome, Russia, China and the United Kingdom; and has worked with the United Nations to help aspiring business women from Iraq.
In addition to her professional responsibilities, Khadijah holds a host of leadership positions. She created a Viacom company-wide mentoring program entitled Get Connected (and worked in partnership with Get Schooled) where Viacom employees served as mentors to New York City public school students. Khadijah helped to launch Viacom’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) for women entitled HERE: Women @ Viacom where she served as Co-Chair for five years. She currently serves as Board Chair for Horizons Newark, a program aimed at closing the achievement and the opportunity gap for inner-city children. In addition, Khadijah is Vice President, Board of Directors for the Black Entertainment and Sports Lawyers’ Association (BESLA) and Co-Chair of BESLA’s Annual Conference for the second consecutive year.
Khadijah is a recipient of numerous awards and achievements and regularly serves as a presenter for industry conferences and panels. In 2013, she was awarded the National Association of Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) Luminary Award for her business acumen and her commitment to diversity. She accepted the National Association of Female Executives (NAFE) Award on behalf of Viacom for being one of the top companies for executive women in 2013. She also received a NAACP Image Award for her work on the children’s animated movie “Kasha and the Zulu King”.
Khadijah has been featured on numerous television programs and in a variety of publications, including The New York Times and has appeared on the cover of Newsweek magazine. She gained prominence as a high school student and victorious lead plaintiff in Sharif vs. New York State Department of Education where she challenged the SAT scholarship distribution procedures. She contributed to a book entitled Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak (Beacon Press), where she writes about her journey as an activist and a Muslim American. Prior to attending law school, Khadijah worked in the Nickelodeon Talent Relations and Development departments where she learned the production side of the business. Khadijah earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Columbia University and her Juris Doctor from Fordham University School of Law. She lives with her husband and two daughters in New Jersey.