Born in 1932, Nawaf briefly served as the chief of the Royal Court in 1961 and was the finance minister for two years during King Saud’s reign. He then worked as King Faisal’s advisor for Persian Gulf affairs from 1968 to 1975.
Nawaf did not hold any official position from 1975 to 2001. In September 2001, he became the country’s intelligence agency chief and his tenure lasted until his resignation in January 2005 due to health concerns. He was then appointed by King Fahd as his special advisor, a post which he served for about seven months till Fahd’s death in August 2005.