Faiza al-Kharafi was born in Kuwait and earned a BSc degree from Ain Shams University in Egypt, MSc and PhD degrees from Kuwait University. A Kuwait University Professor of Chemistry and served as the first female president of Kuwait University from 1993 to 2002. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement Sciences (KFAS). She holds a record of high productivity in several areas of corrosion science and engineering such as; the electrochemical behavior of vanadium, niobium, aluminum and their respective alloys, cadmium, copper, brass, cobalt, molybdenum and low carbon steel, which all have been examined under controlled conditions. In addition, she has employed her expertise in several major studies on the impact of corrosion on commonly used systems in the State of Kuwait, including crude oil distillation units, engine cooling systems, tap water, high temperature geothermal brines, corrosion in polluted water as well as metal corrosion due to pollution.
She was awarded the 2006 Kuwait Prize in Applied Sciences. For her work on corrosion, a problem of fundamental importance to water treatment and the oil industry, she was awarded the 2011 L’Oreal-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science.
Professor al-Kharafi is currently Vice-President of the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. In 2005 Forbes magazine named her as one of “The 100 Most Powerful Women – Women To Watch In The Middle East”.