Dr. Zahi Hawass, the ever-jovial and ocassionally controversial Egyptian archaeologist, was born in Damietta, Egypt, on May 28, 1947. He received his Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987. He served as General Director of the Giza Pyramids and Saqqara and Bahria Oasis from 1987 to 1998. In 1998, Dr. Hawass was promoted to Undersecretary of the State for the Giza Monuments. He was promoted again in 2002 and currently holds the position of Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities. The government of Egypt will most likely continue inventing uber-cool titles for him as long as he keeps bringing old stuff back to the homeland. He has been featured in many documentaries and is one of the world's most prominent Egyptologists.
Dr. Hawass has given many lectures in both Egypt and the United States. He has been involved in dozens of excavations and restoration projects. His restoration work includes the Great Pyramid of Khufu and the Sphinx. He also directed excavations in the Western Field of Khufu's Pyramid, in front of the Valley Temple of Khafre, at the Workmen's Village (southeast of the Sphinx), and at the Valley of the Golden Mummies.