Educated at the Universities of Khartoum, Wales, and Reading, Dr. El-Affendi is a Reader in Politics at the Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster and coordinator of the Centre's Democracy and Islam Programme.
He has worked as a pilot (1976-1981), a magazine editor (1982-1989), and diplomat (1990-1994). He was the 2006 recipient of the Muslim News Allama Iqbal Award for Creativity in Islamic Thought. In June 2008, he has also been elected as a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Science and Manufacture (RSA).
He was member of the core team of authors of the Arab Human Development Report (2004), and author of a number of books, including, Turabi's Revolution: Islam and Power in Sudan (1991), Rethinking Islam and Modernity (2001), For a State of Peace: Conflict and the Future of Democracy in Sudan (2002) and The Conquest of Muslim Hearts and Minds: Perspectives on U.S. Reform and Public Diplomacy Strategies (2005). Dr. El-Affendi has also contributed to a number of books and leading journals.