Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (Arabic: الشيخ حمد بن خليفة آلثاني) (born in 1952), is the Emir of the state of Qatar. He raised to that position on June 26, 1995, after deposing his father, who was vacationing in Switzerland at the time.
Sheikh Hamad had been acclaimed Crown Prince in 1977 and at the same time was appointed Minister of Defense. In the early 1980s he led the Supreme Planning Council, which sets the Qatar's basic economic and social policies. Since 1992, Sheikh Hamad has selected Qatar's cabinet and been responsible for administering the country's day-to-day affairs. He has also led the development of Qatar's oil and natural gas resources.
Sheikh Hamad began his education in Qatar and later attended Sandhurst Military Academy in England. Upon his graduation in 1971, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Qatari armed forces and commanded the 1st Mobile Battalion, which has since been designated the "Hamad Mobile Battalion" in his honor.